Rosamond Lehmann

Rosamond Nina Lehmann CBE (3 February 1901 – 12 March 1990) was an English novelist and translator. Her first novel, Dusty Answer (1927), was a succès de scandale; she subsequently became established in the literary world and intimate with members of the Bloomsbury set. Her novel The Ballad and the Source received critical acclaim.


In 1927, Lehmann published her first novel, Dusty Answer, to great critical and popular acclaim. The novel’s heroine, Judith, is attracted to both men and women, and interacts with openly gay and lesbian characters during her years at Cambridge. The novel was considered a succès de scandale and is thought to be based on her Cambridge years.

Lehmann went on to publish six more novels, as well as a play (No More Music, 1939), a collection of short stories (The Gypsy’s Baby & Other Stories, 1946), a spiritual autobiography (The Swan in the Evening, 1967), and a photographic memoir of her friends (Rosamond Lehmann’s Album, 1985), many of whom were famous Bloomsbury Group.

She also translated two French novels into English: Jacques Lemarchand’s Genevieve (1948) and Jean Cocteau’s 1929 novel Les Enfants Terribles as The Holy Terrors (1955).

Lehmann’s novel The Weather in the Streets (1936) was made into a movie in 1983 and starred Michael York and Joanna Lumley.

Her 1953 novel The Echoing Grove was made into the 2002 film Heart of Me, starring Helena Bonham Carter as the main character, Dinah.

Books in order of publication:


  • Dusty Answer (1927)
  • A Note in Music (1930)
  • Invitation to the Waltz (1932)
  • The Weather in the Streets (1936)
  • No More Music (1939)
  • The Ballad and the Source (1944)
  • Orion (as editor) (1945)
  • The Gypsy’s Baby & Other Stories (1946)
  • The Echoing Grove (1953)
  • The Swan in the Evening: Fragments of an Inner Life (1967) (non-fiction)
  • A Sea-Grape Tree (1976)
  • The Awakening Letters (1978) (ed. with Cynthia, Lady Sandys)
  • Moments of Truth (1986) (anthology, non-fiction)
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