Doris Lessing Additional Biography

Biography

Doris Lessing was born Doris May Tayler in Kermnshh, Persia (now Bkhtarn, Iran), on October 22, 1919, the first child of Alfred Cook Tayler and Emily Maude McVeagh Tayler, who had emigrated from England to Persia shortly after World War I. A brother, Harry, was born two years later, and in 1925 the family moved to a farm in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Her parents were never financially successful. Her father was a dreamer who became a cynic after he failed at maize farming; her mother was domineering but ineffective. Despite Lessing’s love of the African landscape and the isolated veld, she was eager to leave her family behind. She attended a Catholic convent school in Salisbury (now Harare) but left when she was fourteen, saying that she had eye problems, though she continued her voracious reading.

Lessing left home when she was fifteen to become a nursemaid and moved to Salisbury to work in various jobs, mostly clerical, and began writing fiction. She married Frank Charles Wisdom, a minor civil servant, in 1939, and had a son, John, and a daughter, Jean. Divorced in 1943, she was remarried two years later to a German Jewish refugee, Gottfried Lessing. They had a son, Peter, in 1947. She divorced Gottfried Lessing in 1949 and that same year moved to England, settling in London. In 1950 she published her first novel. She continued to live in London and to make her living as a professional writer, writing reviews, media scripts, and nonfiction in addition to her novels, short stories, drama, and poetry.

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Biography

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Doris May Tayler Lessing was born in Kermnshh, Persia (now Bkhtarn, Iran), on October 22, 1919, the daughter of Alfred Cook Tayler and Emily Maude McVeagh. As a soldier during World War I, Alfred Tayler sustained a serious injury that left him an amputee. While convalescing, he fell in love with his nurse, Emily McVeagh, and married her. After the war ended, they moved to Persia, where Alfred began working in a bank. Soon after the young couple were settled in Persia, financial incentives enticed them to try their luck in Southern Rhodesia, a recently established British colony in Africa. They made plans to relocate; by the time that Alfred and Emily were ready to move into their Rhodesian farmhouse, a daughter, Doris May Tayler, had been born. Once engaged in farming, Alfred and Emily Tayler found that the dream that they had pursued did not bring the promise of riches envisioned earlier. For one reason or another, their expectations for amassing wealth were never realized, and they were forced to accommodate themselves to a life that was disappointingly modest by local white standards.

As a young girl growing up in frontier country, Lessing did not feel the disappointment of her parents. The veld, bordering their farm, held for her an array of attractions. As an adolescent, she would take long solitary walks across the unspoiled countryside, often carrying a rifle to shoot small game. Given unlimited opportunity to observe nature on the vast canvas of the veld and given...

(The entire section is 609 words.)

Biography

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Although Doris Lessing is a writer of a great narrative range, the themes that run throughout her work have been constant. Her concentration on such important extraliterary themes as colonialism, racial inequities, male-female relations, nuclear war possibilities, and the continuing evolution of humankind reveals her commitment to the betterment of humanity and underscores her belief in the serious role of the artist in society.

In reading a Lessing book, one soon realizes that the undertaking is essentially expansive, for the writer’s intent is not only to engage the reader’s imagination through a literary experience but also to enlarge the reader’s concept of what it means to live in harmony with oneself, with the world, and with the universe.

Biography

Doris Lessing was born October 22, 1919, in the country of Persia, which is now Iran. Her parents were English, and while Lessing was still...

(The entire section is 506 words.)

Biography

On October 22, 1919, Lessing was born Doris May Tayler in Persia (now Iran), where her parents, both British citizens, were living at the...

(The entire section is 486 words.)

Biography

Doris Lessing was born Doris May Tayler, in Persia (later renamed as Iran) to English parents on October 22, 1919. Her family then moved to...

(The entire section is 466 words.)

Biography

Doris Lessing was born Doris May Tayler on October 22, 1919, in Kermanshah, Persia (now Iran) to two transplanted British expatriates, Alfred...

(The entire section is 464 words.)