London magazine

The London Magazine is a historied publication of arts, literature and miscellaneous interests. Its history ranges nearly three centuries and several reincarnations, publishing the likes of William Wordsworth, William S. Burroughs and John Keats.



The London Magazine was founded in 1732[1] in political opposition to the Tory-based Gentleman's Magazine[2] and ran for 53 years until its closure in 1785. Edward Kimber became editor in 1755, succeeding his father Isaac Kimber.[3][4]


In 1820, the London Magazine was resurrected by the publishers Baldwin, Craddock & Joy under the editorship of John Scott[2] who formatted the magazine along the lines of the Edinburgh publication Blackwood's Magazine. It was during this time the magazine enjoyed its greatest literary prosperity publishing poetic luminaries such as William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Clare and John Keats.[2] In September 1821, the first of two installments of Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater appeared in the journal; these were later published in book form. Scott quickly began a literary row with members of the Blackwood's, in particular with Dr. John Gibson Lockhart in regards to many subjects including the Blackwood's virule criticism of the Cockney School under which Leigh Hunt and John Keats were grouped. The rivalry ended in a fatal duel between Scott and Lockhart's close friend and workmate J. H. Christie. Scott lost the duel and his life in 1821. The magazine continued under the editorship of John Taylor and included a working staff of Thomas Hood, William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb. During this time Lamb published his earliest series of Essays of Elia in 1823. The magazine dwindled in success towards the end of the decade due to Taylor's insistent tampering of the poets' works and was abandoned by many of its staff, including Lamb and Hazlitt. The magazine again ceased publication in 1829. [5]


In 1900 Harmsworth's Monthly Pictorial Magazine was renamed the London Magazine by Cecil Harmsworth, proprietor of the Daily Mail at the time. The publication continued until 1930 when it was renamed The New London Magazine. The Australian scholar Sue Thomas referred to it as "an important informer... of popular literary tastes in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods". Despite its acclaim, the magazine closed in 1933.


In 1954, a new periodical was given the name of the The London Magazine under the editorship of John Lehmann,[6] largely continuing the tradition of the acclaimed 1940s periodical New Writing. It was endorsed by T. S. Eliot as a non-university based periodical that would "boldly assume the existence of a public interested in serious literature." In 1961 the magazine changed hands and was renamed London Magazine. The editor was Lehmann's fellow poet and critic Alan Ross and publication continued until Ross's death in 2001 prompted its closure again. Under both Lehmann and Ross the magazine was published by Chatto & Windus. However it was quickly relaunched by Christopher Arkell and the poet and literary critic Sebastian Barker. When Barker retired as editor in early 2008, Sara-Mae Tuson took over. In July 2009 Arkell sold the magazine to Dr. Burhan Al-Chalabi who is now publisher, with Steven O'Brien as Editor, Heather Wells as Production Manager, Matthew Scott as Reviews Editor, Grey Gowrie as Special Editorial Advisor, Sir David Latham, Bruce Anderson and Patrick Mercer MP OBE as Editorial Advisors.

Notable contributors have included: W. H. Auden, Frank Auerbach, Louis de Bernières, Lady Caroline Blackwood, Bill Brandt, William S. Burroughs, Roy Campbell, Thomas Carlyle, Henry Cary, Charles Causley, John Clare, Hartley Coleridge, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Allan Cunningham, Lawrence Durrell, Odysseus Elytis, Gavin Ewart, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Roy Fuller, W. S. Graham, Nadine Gordimer, The Rt. Rev. The Lord Harries of Pentregarth (formerly the Lord Bishop of Oxford), Tony Harrison, William Hazlitt, Thomas Hood, Ted Hughes, Leigh Hunt, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, John Keats, Charles Lamb, Laurie Lee, Jack London, Louis MacNeice, Mary Russell Mitford, Paul Muldoon, Les Murray, E. (Edith) Nesbit, Ben Okri, Harold Pinter, Sylvia Plath, Thomas de Quincey, Ethel Rolt Wheeler, Alan Ross, Richard Savage, John Scott, Iain Sinclair, Derek Walcott, Evelyn Waugh and William Wordsworth.

Reinvigorated by new owner Burhan Al-Chalabi and Editor Steven O'Brien, it publishes both emerging and established writers from around the world.


External links

  • Official website of the current incarnation
  • The Online Books Page.
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