The London Magazine

Last updated

The London Magazine
The LONDON MAGAZINE - May 1760 - cover.jpg
Cover of the issue "For May, 1760."
EditorSteven O'Brien
CategoriesLiterary magazine
Publisher Burhan Al-Chalabi
Founder Isaac Kimber
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based inLondon
ISSN 0024-6085

The London Magazine is the title of six different publications that have appeared in succession since 1732. All six have focused on the arts, literature and poetry. A number of Nobel Laureates, including Annie Ernaux, Albert Camus, Doris Lessing, and Nadine Gordimer have been published in its pages. It is England's oldest literary journal.



The London Magazine, or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer was founded in 1732 [1] [2] in political opposition and rivalry to the Tory-supporting Gentleman's Magazine [3] and ran for 53 years until its closure in 1785. Edward Kimber became editor in 1755, succeeding his father Isaac Kimber. [4] [5] Henry Mayo was editor from 1775 to 1783. [6] Publishers included Thomas Astley.


In 1820 the London Magazine was resurrected by the publishers Baldwin, Craddock & Joy under the editorship of John Scott [3] who formatted the magazine along the lines of the Edinburgh publication Blackwood's Magazine . It was during this time that the magazine published poems by William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Clare and John Keats. [3]

In September 1821 the first of two instalments of Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater appeared in the magazine. Scott quickly began a literary row with writers forBlackwood's Magazine, in particular with John Gibson Lockhart, on various topics, including Blackwood's virulent criticism of the "Cockney School", under which Leigh Hunt and John Keats were grouped. The quarrel ended in a fatal duel between Scott and Lockhart's close friend and colleague J.H. Christie. Scott lost the duel and his life in 1821.

The London Magazine continued under the editorship of John Taylor. Its contributors included Thomas Hood, William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb. During this time Lamb published the first series of his Essays of Elia , beginning in 1820. [7] Taylor's insistent tampering with contributors' poems led many of the staff, including Lamb and Hazlitt, to abandon the magazine, which ceased publication in 1829. [8]


Simpkin, Marshall and Co. published The London Magazine, Charivari, and Courrier des Dames; a Proteus in Politics, a Chameleon in Literature, and a Butterfly in the World of Bon Ton, edited by Richard Fennell. [9] The first item in the inaugural issue in February 1840 was "Behind the Scenes, with the Prologue to Our Little Drama", which begins: "[Manager Typo is discovered pacing up and down the stage ..." (image 10). [9]


The title was revived in November 1875 for a monthly edited by Will Williams.[ This quote needs a citation ] It has been described as "a society paper", [10] and as "a journal of a type more usual in Paris than London, written for the sake of its contributors rather than of the public". [11]

A significant development in this period was the arrival of William Ernest Henley, who accepted the post of editor, serving from 15 December 1877 for the closing two years (1877–1879). Henley anonymously contributed tens of his own poems to the magazine, "chiefly in old French forms," some of which have been termed "brilliant" (and were later published in a compilation by Gleeson White). [10] This period also saw the publication of Robert Louis Stevenson's short story "The New Arabian Nights" in The London. [11]

The London ceased publication with the issue dated 5 April 1879. [12] [ when? ][ dubious ][ citation needed ]


Cover, March 1912 London magazine.jpg
Cover, March 1912

In 1901 The Harmsworth Magazine was relaunched as The London Magazine [13] by Cecil Harmsworth, proprietor of the Daily Mail at the time. The editor was Henry Beckles Willson. Amalgamated Press continued publishing it until 1930, when it was retitled the New London Magazine. The Australian scholar Sue Thomas has referred to it as "an important informer ... of popular literary tastes in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods".[ citation needed ] During this period, Joseph Conrad contributed to The London Magazine. One of his notable contributions was the serialization of his novel "Heart of Darkness" in three parts from February to April 1899. George Orwell published his essay "A Hanging" in the magazine in August of 1931, considered a classic of modern English literature. Despite the acclaim it enjoyed, the magazine closed in 1933.

Since 1954–present

In 1954 a new periodical was given the title the London Magazine under the editorship of John Lehmann, [14] who largely continued the tradition of his previous magazine 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". Susan Sontag, Eugene Ionesco and Annie Ernaux were among the iconic writers who contributed to the magazine during this period. In 1961 the magazine changed hands and came under the editorship of Lehmann's fellow poet and critic Alan Ross. Publication continued until Ross's death in 2001. Under both Lehmann and Ross the magazine was published by Chatto & Windus.

In 2001 it was relaunched by Christopher Arkell, who appointed the poet and literary critic Sebastian Barker as editor. Barker retired in early 2008 and Sara-Mae Tuson took over.

In July 2009 Arkell sold the magazine to Burhan Al-Chalabi, who is now the publisher.

The London Magazine has been relaunched under the current editorship. It is published six times a year. It publishes both emerging and established writers from around the world.

Related Research Articles

<i>Punch</i> (magazine) British weekly magazine of humour and satire

Punch, or The London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and wood-engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 1850s, when it helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration. Artists at Punch included John Tenniel who, from 1850, was the chief cartoon artist at the magazine for over 50 years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Gibson Lockhart</span> Scottish writer and editor

John Gibson Lockhart was a Scottish writer and editor. He is best known as the author of the seminal, and much-admired, seven-volume biography of his father-in-law Sir Walter Scott: Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart. He produced four novels in the early 1820s including Adam Blair and Reginald Dalton.

<i>Granta</i> British literary magazine and publisher

Granta is a literary magazine and publisher in the United Kingdom whose mission centres on its "belief in the power and urgency of the story, both in fiction and non-fiction, and the story's supreme ability to describe, illuminate and make real." In 2007, The Observer stated: "In its blend of memoirs and photojournalism, and in its championing of contemporary realist fiction, Granta has its face pressed firmly against the window, determined to witness the world."

<i>The Bookman</i> (New York City) American literary journal, 1895–1933

The Bookman was a literary journal established in 1895 by Dodd, Mead and Company

John Herapath was an English physicist who gave a partial account of the kinetic theory of gases in 1820 though it was neglected by the scientific community at the time. He was the cousin of William Herapath, the chemist and William Bird Herapath, the physician who discovered herapathite. In 1847 he published an early textbook on mathematical physics.

<i>The Illustrated London News</i> British illustrated news magazine (1842–2003)

The Illustrated London News, founded by Herbert Ingram and first published on Saturday 14 May 1842, was the world's first illustrated weekly news magazine. The magazine was published weekly for most of its existence, switched to a less frequent publication schedule in 1971, and eventually ceased publication in 2003. The company continues today as Illustrated London News Ltd, a publishing, content, and digital agency in London, which holds the publication and business archives of the magazine.

The Yale Review is the oldest literary journal in the United States. It is published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

<i>Blackwoods Magazine</i> British magazine

Blackwood's Magazine was a British magazine and miscellany printed between 1817 and 1980. It was founded by the publisher William Blackwood and was originally called the Edinburgh Monthly Magazine. The first number appeared in April 1817 under the editorship of Thomas Pringle and James Cleghorn. The journal was unsuccessful and Blackwood fired Pringle and Cleghorn and relaunched the journal as Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine under his own editorship. The journal eventually adopted the shorter name and from the relaunch often referred to itself as Maga. The title page bore the image of George Buchanan, a 16th-century Scottish historian, religious and political thinker.

John Scott was a Scottish journalist, editor and publisher.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bernard Capes</span> English author

Bernard Edward Joseph Capes was an English author.

Peter George Patmore was an English author.

The New Monthly Magazine was a British monthly magazine published from 1814 to 1884. It was founded by Henry Colburn and published by him through to 1845.

The Metropolitan: A monthly journal of literature, science, and the fine arts was a London monthly journal inaugurated in May 1831, originally edited by Thomas Campbell. It was then published by James Cochrane.

<i>Scribners Monthly</i> American literary periodical published from 1870 until 1881

Scribner's Monthly: An Illustrated Magazine for the People was an illustrated American literary periodical published from 1870 until 1881. Following a change in ownership in 1881 of the company that had produced it, the magazine was relaunched as The Century Magazine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles Whibley</span> English literary journalist and author

Charles Whibley was an English literary journalist and author. In literature and the arts, his views were progressive. He supported James Abbott McNeill Whistler. He also recommended T. S. Eliot to Geoffrey Faber, which resulted in Eliot's being appointed as an editor at Faber and Gwyer. Eliot's essay Charles Whibley (1931) was contained within his Selected Essays, 1917-1932. Whibley's style was described by Matthew as "often acerbic high Tory commentary".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Mudford</span> British writer, essayist, translator of literary works and journalist

William Mudford was a British writer, essayist, translator of literary works and journalist. He also wrote critical and philosophical essays and reviews. His 1829 novel The Five Nights of St. Albans: A Romance of the Sixteenth Century received a good review from John Gibson Lockhart, an achievement which was considered a rare distinction. Mudford also published short fictional stories which were featured in periodicals such as Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Fraser's Magazine, and Bentley's Miscellany.

The Edinburgh Advertiser, sometimes referred to as The Advertiser, was a twice-weekly newspaper published in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Tuesday and Friday mornings for almost a century, from 1764 to 1859.

<i>Analectic Magazine</i>

The Analectic Magazine (1813–1820) was published in Philadelphia by Moses Thomas, and later, by James Maxwell. Washington Irving served as editor 1813-1814. The magazine was described as "comprising original reviews, biography, analytical abstracts of new publications, translations from French journals, and selections from the most esteemed British reviews." Some issues contained reprinted articles from the British press, and there were extensive book reviews. "The first lithograph ever made in America is in this magazine for July 1819. It represents a woodland scene — a flowing stream and a single house upon the bank. It was made by Bass Otis." Editor Maxwell became ill in 1820 and publication ceased.

<i>Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal</i> Publication of Western Christian missionaries in pre-WWII Chinas

Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal was a journal, pamphlet or magazine published in one or another form in Shanghai from 1867 to 1941, after which it was closed by Japanese authorities. The Journal was the leading outlet for the English language missionary community in China, with a number of Chinese readers as well. In the 1920s and 1930s, under the editorship of Frank J. Rawlinson, it was known for its liberal theology and support for Chinese nationalism.

The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art was a monthly periodical published between 1844 and 1907. It reprinted the best of British magazines, as well as extracts from new books and, in its later years, original articles and fiction.


  1. HathiTrust (undated catalogue record). "The London Magazine, or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer". 1732–1784(?). Retrieved 15 December 2019.
      HathiTrust Digital Library holdings: earliest 1732 (vol. 1), latest 1784 (new series, vol. 3).
  2. Elise Blanchard. "London-Based Lit Mags". The Review Review. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 "History". The London Magazine: Est. 1732 ( Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  4. Herrie, Jeffrey. "Kimber, Edward". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/15547.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. John Watkins (1806). A biographical, historical and chronological dictionary: containing a faithful accounts of the lives, characters and actions of the most eminent persons of all ages and all countries; including the revolutions of states and the succession of sovereign princes. Printed for Richard Phillips ... by T. Gillet. p. 559. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  6. Stephens, John. "Mayo, Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/18456.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. Barnett, George L. Charles Lamb: the Evolution of Elia. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1964, p. 41.
  8. Hathi Trust (undated catalogue record). "London magazine". 1820–1829. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
      HathiTrust Digital Library holdings may be complete, catalogued as three series spanning January 1820 to June 1829.
  9. 1 2 HathiTrust (undated catalogue record). "The London magazine, charivari, and courrier des dames". 1840(?). Retrieved 15 December 2019.
      HathiTrust Digital Library holdings may be complete, catalogued as two volumes spanning February to November 1840.
  10. 1 2 Gleeson White, Ed. 1888, Ballades and Rondeaus, Chants Royal, Sestinas, Villanelles, &c.: Selected with Chapter on the Various Forms (William Sharp, Gen. Series Ed.), pp. xix, 16-22, 77-82, 139-141, 169-173, 221, 251-253, and 288-290, London, England:Walter Scott Ltd., see ; Project Gutenberg online edition, see , accessed 8 May 2015.
  11. 1 2 W.P. James, 1911, "Henley, William Ernest," in Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed. (Hugh Chisholm & Walter Alison Phillips, Eds.), Vol. 13, Project Gutenberg part 271, see , accessed 8 May 2015.
  12. Brake, Laurel; Demoor, Marysa, eds. (2009). Dictionary of Nineteenth-century Journal in Great Britain and Ireland. Academia Press. p. 373. ISBN   9789038213408.
  13. The page headings on issue 37 Aug 1901 are "The Harmsworth London Magazine". In March 1901 (issue 32) the pages say "Harmsworth Magazine". By April 1902 (issue 45) the pages say "The London Magazine". From bound volumes.
  14. HathiTrust (undated catalogue record). "London magazine". 1954–present. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
      HathiTrust Digital Library holdings, from 1954, provide no view of page images; limited search only.