Last updated

Tatler logo.svg
Front cover of Tatler September 2013.jpg
September 2013 cover
Editor Richard Dennen
Total circulation
79,000 [1]
Founder Clement Shorter
First issue1901
Company Condé Nast
CountryUnited Kingdom
Website Tatler.com

Tatler is a British magazine published by Condé Nast Publications focusing on fashion and lifestyle, as well as coverage of high society and politics. It is targeted towards the British upper-middle class and upper class, and those interested in society events. Its readership is the wealthiest of all Condé Nast's publications [source needed]. It was founded in 1901 by Clement Shorter. Tatler is also published in Russia by Conde Nast, and by Edipresse Media Asia. [2]



Tatler was introduced on 3 July 1901, by Clement Shorter, publisher of The Sphere . It was named after the original literary and society journal founded by Richard Steele in 1709. For some time a weekly publication, it had a subtitle varying on "an illustrated journal of society and the drama". It contained news and pictures of high society balls, charity events, race meetings, shooting parties, fashion and gossip, with cartoons by "The Tout" and H. M. Bateman.

In 1940, the magazine absorbed The Bystander , creating a publication called The Tatler and Bystander. [3] In 1961, Illustrated Newspapers, which published Tatler, The Sphere, and The Illustrated London News , was bought by Roy Thomson. [4] In 1965, Tatler was retitled London Life. [5] [6] In 1968, it was bought by Guy Wayte's Illustrated County Magazine group and the Tatler name restored. [7] Wayte's group had a number of county magazines in the style of Tatler, each of which mixed the same syndicated content with county-specific local content. [7] Wayte, "a moustachioed playboy of a conman" [8] was convicted of fraud in 1980 for inflating Tatler's circulation figures from 15,000 to 49,000. [9]

The magazine was sold and relaunched as a monthly magazine in 1977, called Tatler & Bystander until 1982. [6] Tina Brown (editor 1979–83), created a vibrant and youthful Tatler and is credited with putting the edge, the irony and the wit back into what was then an almost moribund social title. She referred to it as an upper-class comic and by increasing its influence and circulation made it an interesting enough operation for the then owner, Gary Bogard, to sell to publishers Condé Nast. Brown subsequently transferred to New York, to another Condé Nast title, Vanity Fair .

After several later editors and a looming recession, the magazine was once again ailing; Jane Procter was brought in to re-invent the title for the 1990s. The circulation rose to over 90,000, a figure which was exceeded five years later by Geordie Greig. The magazine created various supplements including the Travel and Restaurant Guides, the often-referred to and closely watched Most Invited and Little Black Book lists, as well as various parties.

Kate Reardon became editor in 2011. She was previously a fashion assistant on American Vogue and then, aged 21, became the youngest-ever fashion director of Tatler. [10] Under Reardon's directorship Tatler retained its position as having the wealthiest audience of Condé Nast's magazines, exceeding an average of $175,000 in 2013. [11]

Reardon left the title at the end of 2017. The appointment of Richard Dennen as the new editor was announced at the beginning of February 2018, and he took up the post on 12 February. [12]

In 2014, the BBC broadcast a three-part fly-on-the-wall documentary television series, titled Posh People: Inside Tatler, featuring the editorial team going about their various jobs. [13]

Little Black Book

One of Tatler's most talked-about annual features is the Little Black Book. The supplement is a compilation of "the most eligible, most beddable, most exotically plumaged birds and blokes in town", and individuals previously featured have included those from a number of backgrounds: aristocrats and investment bankers sit alongside celebrities and those working in the media sector.

Editors and contributors

Past and present editors

Clement Shorter1901–1926In 1900, he founded Sphere, which he edited up until his death in 1926. He died on 19 November 1926.
Edward Huskinson1908–1940Killed on 14 November 1941 by a train at Savernake station, Wiltshire [14]
Reginald Stewart Hooper1940–45Died in office. Previously editor of The Bystander from 1932. [15]
Col. Sean Fielding1946–1954 [16] Later of the Daily Express
Lt-Col. Philip Youngman-Carter1954–57Earlier worked for Fielding as editor of Soldier . [17]
Harry Aubrey Fieldhouse1960–61 [18]
Mark Boxer 1965Officially "editorial director" of London Life. Also The Times 's political cartoonist, and the creator of The Sunday Times Magazine . [5]
Ian Howard [5] 1965–
Robert Innes-Smith [7] 1968
Leslie Field1978–The first female, and only American, editor [19]
Tina Brown [20] 1979–1983
Libby Purves 1983 [21] [22]
Mark Boxer1983–88 [22] Second term; retired just before his death from brain cancer [23]
Emma Soames 1988–1990 [22]
Jane Procter1990–99 [24]
Geordie Greig [25] 1999–2009 [26] Resigned to become editor of the Evening Standard [26]
Catherine Ostler2009–2011Previously editor of the Evening Standard's ES magazine; resigned December 2010 [22] [27]
Kate Reardon 2011–17Previously contributing editor of Vanity Fair ; prior to that, fashion editor of Tatler. Also a columnist for the Daily Mail and The Times. [28]
Richard Dennen 2018–present

Past contributors

Other editions

CountryCirculation DatesEditor-in-ChiefStart yearEnd year
Ireland1890–presentJessie Collins20092015
Shauna O'Halloran2015present
Hong Kong1977–presentEric Wilson
Singapore1982–presentKarishma Tulsidas2021
Malaysia1989–presentElizabeth Soong
Thailand1991–presentNaphalai Areesorn
Indonesia2000–presentMrs Maria Lukito2000
Philippines2001–presentAnton San Diego
Korea2005–2007Discontinued in 2007
Macau2008–presentSteven Crane
Taiwan2008–presentApril Hsu
Russia2008–presentArian Romanovskiy
China2012–presentShangliu Tatler

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Further reading