Love, Leda

Newly discovered in the author’s archives and published for the first time in the UK in 2023, this portrait of queer, working class London drifts from coffee shop to house party, in search of the next tryst.

Huw Lemmey



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Foreword by Huw Lemmey
Introduction by Andrew Durbin
Afterword by Luke Roberts

Read an excerpt in Granta.

Additional information


eBook, Paperback

Leda is lost. He spends his days steeped in ennui, watching the hours pass, waiting for the night to arrive. Trysts in the rubble of a bombsite follow hours spent in bed with near strangers, as Leda seeks out intimacy in unlikely places. Semi-homeless and estranged from his family of origin, he relies on the support of his chosen one: a community of older gay men and divorced women who feed and clothe him, gently encouraging him to find a foothold in a society which excludes him at every turn. And then there is Daniel, a buttoned-up man of the Lord, for whom Leda nurses an unrequited obsession—one which sends him spiraling into self-destruction. Pre-dating the British Sexual Offences Act of 1967, Love, Leda was first published in 2023 in the UK. This long lost novel is a portrait of London’s Soho that is now lost, an important document of queer working-class life from a voice long overlooked.


Acerbic yet wistful, indecent, caffeinated, raw, suddenly profound – a hip flask of a novel, brimful of phenomenal lines.

-Jeremy Atherton Lin
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ISBN: 9781643622453
Paperback, 144 pages
Publication Date: September 24, 2024

One can only wonder what effect Mark Hyatt’s only known novel, Love, Leda, would have had on British culture had it found a publisher and reached bookshop shelves when it was written, in the middle of the 1960s. A frank, intimate portrait of a young working-class homosexual struggling to find meaning, work or just a good fuck in London, living between friends’ sofas and dingy bedsits, Love, Leda is a book without contemporaries. It might well have been explosive and remembered as one of the great works of working-class literature of the time.

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Mark Hyatt (1940-1972) lived at the center and the fringes of the bohemian underground in 1960s Britain. In the half-century since his death, his work has been known …

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Andrew Durbin is a writer who lives in London, where is the editor of frieze magazine. He is the author of Mature Themes (2014) and MacArthur Park (2017), both from …

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Luke Roberts is a poet and writer. He works at King’s College London …

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