LESLEY BLANCH (1904-2007)

Historian, travel writer and illustrator

If they have heard of Lesley Blanch, most people today associate her with her bestselling book, The Wilder Shores of Love, but there is more to her than that.

Bohemian in spirit, Lesley Blanch was fearless and true to herself; a seductive scholarly romantic, with a soft spot for Russian men; and mad about the Orient. Her life reads like a novel.

Her posthumous memoirs, On the Wilder Shores of Love: A Bohemian Life, are published by Virago, Little Brown.
HB 15 January 2015 | 452 pp GBP 20 | 978-0-349-00544-7 | PB 12 January 2017 | 452 pp GBP 10.99 | 978-0-349-00546-1 | buy now

The companion volume, Far To Go and Many To Love: People and Places, will be published by Quartet Books on 1 June, 2017.


Psychologist, sociologist and management guru

Elton Mayo is chiefly remembered for the Hawthorne Experiments (1924-1933) which examined the effects of social relations, motivation, and employee satisfaction on factory productivity. He is featured in Tim Hindle's The Economist Guide to Management Ideas and Gurus | Economist Books | 5 April 2012 | 336pp GBP 14.99 | 978-1846686078 | buy now

New Society | December 1980 | The Three Faces of Elton Mayo by the late J H Smith, Professor of Sociology, Co-Founder of New Technology Research Group, University of Southampton | "Towards the end of his life, through his association with the Harvard Business School and the Hawthorne Studies, Elton Mayo enjoyed a public acclaim granted to few social scientists of his day. None however would have envied him the fall from grace which was to follow his death …" Read More

Elton Mayo laid the ground rules for interviewing, the principles of which have been repeated in numerous 'how to' books on leadership, coaching and mentoring over the last half century:
"The simple rules for the conduct of any clinical interview, whether medical or sociological, are as follows:
1. Give your whole attention to the person interviewed, and make it evident that you are doing so.
2. Listen – don't talk.
3. Never argue, never give advice.
4. Listen to: (a) What he wants to say. (b) What he does not want to say. (c) What he cannot say without help.
5. As you listen, plot out tentatively and for subsequent correction the pattern that is being set before you. To test this, occasionally summarize what has been said and present it for comment. Always do this with caution – that is, abbreviate and clarify but do not add or 'twist'.
6. Remember that everything said must be considered a personal confidence and not divulged to anyone. (This does not prevent discussion of a situation between professional colleagues. Nor does it prevent some form of public report when due precaution has been taken.)."
© 1952 & 2014 Estate of George Elton Mayo, Page 23 The Psychology of Pierre Janet | Routledge Revivals | 978-0-415-73022-8 | buy now


Writer, artist and photographer

Educated in England, Switzerland and at the Sorbonne, Gael Elton Mayo worked as writer-researcher for Magnum Photographers in Paris. She covered England with Henri Cartier-Bresson, for Robert Capa’s brainchild, 'Generation X', which she describes in her autobiography, The Mad Mosaic, as "the name given to the unknown generation, those who were twenty after the war, and in the middle of a century. Capa wanted to choose a young man, and young girl, in each of twelve countries and five continents, examine their way of life, and find out what they were doing, thinking and hoping for the future." (Holiday changed 'Generation X' to 'Youth of the World' when it was published; an abbreviated version also appeared in Picture Post in 1953.) Read More