Obituary: Lettice Cooper
Tuesday 30 August 1994
I first met Lettice in Yorkshire before the war. I remember her coming up our garden path to meet my mother, the writer Phyllis Hambledon. When I went to London in 1941 I stayed in the small private hotel where Lettice and her sister Barbara were living. Lettice's patriotism led her to give up her writing for the duration, though she had had a considerable success with National Provincial (1938). She joined the Ministry of Food as a voice for Lord Woolton, whom she much admired. She was also an air raid warden. Barbara Cooper, who had published a novel of her own, assisted John Lehmann on Penguin New Writing.
When the war was over, the Coopers moved to a flat in Swiss Cottage and I moved to a flat of my own. After I married, Lettice became the godmother for my daughter and Barbara for my son. They were always extraordinarily kind both to them and to me. I used to see them as a sort of Sisters Cheeryble not only to me, but to many of their friends.
In this hospitable flat with its huge Victorian screen covered with vivid scraps of the same period, they threw their wonderful parties. These were always lively. I remember Elizabeth Jennings having an argument with Martin
Seymour-Smith, a Turkish poet who sent me some real Turkish delight, the Israeli poet Pinhas Sadeh, John Lehmann, Charles Osborne, Pamela Frankau and many others. Barbara brought her collection of young writers and poets from the London Magazine who recited the wilder poems the magazine received. I remember one to Edith Sitwell which began 'Edith, Edith, poetry's monolith'.
Francis King mentions Lettice's interest in psychoanalysis. She was a fervent Freudian. I think it helped her: a great deal of her understanding and compassion originated in this discipline.
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...
£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...