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LEL Reviews

LEL by Lucasta Miller

L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Scandalous Death of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, the Celebrated "Female Byron"

Lucasta Miller

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 16 May 2019
ISBN: 9780224079396

On 15 October 1838, the body of a thirty-six-year-old woman was found in Cape Coast Castle, West Africa, a bottle of Prussic acid in her hand. She was one of the most famous English poets of her day: Letitia Elizabeth Landon, known by her initials `L.E.L.' What was she doing in Africa?

4 stars out of 5
Hephzibah Anderson
22 Nov 2020

"a riveting, tantalisingly ambiguous portrait "

The circumstances were suspicious, shunting her into the margins, where she languished until her renown was no more. Only in the past 20 years has her work begun to be revisited, but the woman herself remains a mystery. Lucasta Miller’s fine literary detective work yields a riveting, tantalisingly ambiguous portrait of a poet whose confessional voice and savvy celebrity make her only more intriguing to modern readers.