Nicholas Lezard

Nicholas Andrew Selwyn Lezard[1] is an English journalist and literary critic.

Background and education

The Lezard family went from London to Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa in the 1800s. Nicholas Lezard's great-grandfather, Louis Flavien Lezard (1877–1960), also of Hallam Street, London W.1, became a noted solicitor (senior partner, Lezard, Robins and Edmeades) and local figure in the country, serving as chairman and president of several Kimberley institutions.[2][3][4] Louis's eldest son, Julien (1902–1958) – the third son, Squadron Leader Selwyn Edward Lezard (1908–1974), R.A.F.V.R., being Nicholas Lezard's grandfather – was a Cambridge-educated barrister and noted society figure and gambler, who served in the Special Operations Executive alongside Xan Fielding. Julien Lezard married Hilda, daughter of Sir Daniel Cooper, 2nd Baronet; she was the widow of Thomas Uchter Caulfield Knox, Viscount Northland, son of Uchter Knox, 5th Earl of Ranfurly, and of Geoffrey Edward Mills, son of Charles Mills, 1st Baron Hillingdon.[5][6][7]

He was educated at The Hall School, Hampstead, Westminster School,[8] and Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. 1984, M.A. 1990).[9]


He has a weekly column, 'Nicholas Lezard's choice', reviewing paperback books for The Guardian.[10] He also writes for The Independent, and contributes the 'Down and Out' column for the New Statesman[11] His book The Nolympics: One Man's Struggle Against Sporting Hysteria was published in 2012 by Penguin Books. Lezard's memoir, Bitter Experience Has Taught Me, about his life after a marriage ended, was published in 2013.[12]

In September 2016, alternative news media website The Canary posted screenshots of a series of Facebook responses by Lezard in a conversation under a post by author Anthony McGowan on his thoughts regarding the current Labour party. Lezard, after expressing his view of Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour Party, as 'utterly shit', 'routinely... disloyal to Labour' and a 'feeble, idealistic Labour leader', and saying that he 'hems and haws about anti-semitism in the party' (Lezard himself being of partial Jewish ancestry),[13] said that he would 'crowdfund an assassination plot were it not for the ACTUAL FACT (sic) that there is a detail of MI5 agents tailing him... making sure nothing happens to Corbyn, and that he stays head of the Party for as long as possible, which, given his miserable lifestyle, is going to be fucking years'.[14] He subsequently apologised on Twitter for what he had intended as a "private, satirical remark".[15][16]

He is represented by Derek Johns of the United Agents literary and talent agency.[17]


  1. The Cambridge University List of Members up to 31 December 1991, Cambridge University Press, p. 814
  2. Christian Brothers College, Kimberley, 1897-1997, Steve Lunderstedt, 1997.
  3. Who's Who of Southern Africa, vol. 43, Argus Printing and Publishing Co., 1959, p. 368
  4. Humour in Court: Some Random Recollections of a South African Lawyer, Louis F. Lezard, 1921
  5. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage 2003, vol. 1, p. 890
  6. Hide and Seek, Xan Fielding, Secker and Warburg, 1954
  7. Me and Other Originals, Charles Johnston, Hamish Hamilton, 1971
  9. The Cambridge University List of Members up to 31 December 1991, Cambridge University Press, p. 814
  10. Profile: Nicholas Lezard
  11. New Statesman writers: Nicholas Lezard
  12. Blincoe, Nicholas (19 July 2013). "Bitter Experience Has Taught Me, by Nicholas Lezard, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  17. "Nicholas Lezard". United Agents. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
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