London Review of Books

The London Review of Books (LRB) is a British journal of literary essays. It is published fortnightly.

London Review of Books
EditorMary-Kay Wilmers
CategoriesLiterature, history, ideas[1]
Frequency24 per year
PublisherNicholas Spice
Year founded1979
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based inBloomsbury, London


The LRB was founded in 1979,[2] when publication of The Times Literary Supplement was suspended during the year-long lock-out at The Times.[3]

Its founding editors were Karl Miller, then professor of English at University College London, Mary-Kay Wilmers, formerly an editor at The Times Literary Supplement, and Susannah Clapp, a former editor at Jonathan Cape. For its first six months, it appeared as an insert in The New York Review of Books.[4] In May 1980, the London Review became an independent publication with an orientation described by Alan Bennett, a prominent contributor throughout the LRB's history, as "consistently radical".[5]

Unlike The Times Literary Supplement (TLS), the majority of the articles the LRB publishes (usually fifteen per issue) are long essays. Some articles in each issue are not based on books, while several short articles discuss film or exhibitions. Political and social essays are frequent. The magazine is headquartered in Bloomsbury, London.[2]

Mary-Kay Wilmers took over as editor in 1992. Average circulation per issue for 2016 was 70,468.[3]

In January 2010, The Times claimed that the London Review of Books was £27m in debt to the Wilmers' family trust, although the trust had "no intention of the lender seeking repayment of the loan in the near future".[6]

In 2011, when Pankaj Mishra criticised Niall Ferguson's book Civilisation: The West and the Rest in the London Review of Books, Ferguson threatened to sue for libel.[7][8]

The London Review Bookshop opened in Bloomsbury in May 2003, and the Cake Shop next door in November 2007. The bookshop is used as a venue for author presentations and discussions.[3]


Contributors have included:

See also


  1. ^ Dugdale, John (20 February 2013). "Hilary Mantel: not the first LRB controversy". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b Elizabeth Day (9 March 2014). "Is the LRB the best magazine in the world?". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "About the LRB".
  4. ^ Grimes, William (20 June 2011). "A. Whitney Ellsworth, First Publisher of New York Review, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  5. ^ Bennett, Alan, July 1996, in the Foreword to Jane Hindle (editor) London Review of Books: An Anthology, Verso, 1996. ISBN 1-85984-860-5 "The LRB has maintained a consistently radical stance on politics and social affairs"
  6. ^ "The Times".
  7. ^ Harris, Paul (4 May 2013). "Niall Ferguson apologises for anti-gay remarks towards John Maynard Keynes". The Observer. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  8. ^ Mishra, Pankaj (3 November 2011). "Watch this man". Retrieved 3 November 2011.

Further reading

External links

69 Things to Do with a Dead Princess

69 Things to Do with a Dead Princess is an experimental novel by the British writer Stewart Home, first published by Canongate in 2002. It tells the story of a suicidal man investigating a conspiracy theory about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, with lots of explicit sex and philosophical discussions, and was positively reviewed by The Times and the London Review of Books.

Adam Tooze

Adam J. Tooze (born 1967) is a British historian who is a Professor at Columbia University and Director of the European Institute. Previously, he was Reader in Twentieth-Century History at the University of Cambridge and Gurnee Hart Fellow in History at Jesus College, Cambridge. After leaving Cambridge in 2009, he was for six years professor at Yale University as Professor of Modern German History and Director of the International Security Studies, succeeding Paul Kennedy.

After graduating with a B.A. degree in economics from King's College, Cambridge in 1989, Tooze studied at the Free University of Berlin before moving to the London School of Economics for a doctorate in economic history under the supervision of Alan Milward.In 2002, he was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize for Modern History for his first book, Statistics and the German State, 1900–1945: The Making of Modern Economic Knowledge. He is best known for his economic study of the Third Reich, The Wages of Destruction, which was one of the winners of the Wolfson History Prize in 2006 and an extended history of the First World War with The Deluge published in 2014. He has then widened his scope to study the last financial crash in 2008 and its economical and geopolitical consequences with Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World published in 2018 for which he won the 2019 Lionel Gelber Prize.He writes for numerous publications, including the Financial Times, London Review of Books, New Left Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Foreign Policy and Die Zeit.

Andrew O'Hagan

Andrew O'Hagan, FRSL (born 1968) is a Scottish novelist and non-fiction author. He is also an Editor at Large of London Review of Books and Esquire Magazine. O'Hagan is currently the Visiting Professor of Writing at King's College London.Three of O'Hagan’s novels have been nominated for the Booker Prize for Fiction. He was selected by the literary magazine Granta for inclusion in their 2003 list of the top 20 young British novelists. His novels have been translated into 15 languages. His essays, reports and stories have appeared in London Review of Books, New York Review of Books,

Granta, The Guardian and The New Yorker.

Christopher Turner

Christopher Turner is a British writer. He has been a regular contributor to Cabinet magazine since 2004, and to the London Review of Books since 2001. He has also written for The Guardian and The Sunday Telegraph, and is the editor of Icon magazine.Turner is the author of Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex (2011), which was long-listed for the Orwell Prize.

Frank Kermode

Sir John Frank Kermode, FBA (29 November 1919 – 17 August 2010) was a British literary critic best known for his work The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction, published in 1967 (revised 2000), and for his extensive book-reviewing and editing.

He was the Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London and the King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at Cambridge University.

Kermode was known for many works of criticism, and also as editor of the popular Fontana Modern Masters series of introductions to modern thinkers. He was a regular contributor to the London Review of Books and The New York Review of Books.

Isabel V. Hull

Isabel Virginia Hull (born 1949) is the John Stambaugh Professor of History and the former chair of the history department at Cornell University. She specializes in German history from 1700 to 1945, with a focus on sociopolitics, political theory, and gender/sexuality. Since January 2006, Hull has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Modern History.

Hull received her B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1970 and her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1978. She teaches courses on European fascism, World War I, German history 1648–present, and international law.

The position for which she is best known, embodied in her two most recent books, is that Germany before and during World War I was uniquely indifferent to international law among the great powers, and (contrary to many other historians) that its responsibility for bringing the war about was much greater than that of the Allied powers. For her last book A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law During the Great War (2014) she earned some critical reviews, because she minimizes the consequences of the British blockade of Germany during World War I, which resulted in 400,000 casualties. Michael Geyer of the University of Chicago has stated that "Isabel V. Hull is one of the most accomplished German historians and surely the best of her generation," and she has been described by VICE News as "one of America's leading scholars on the role of fascism in history." She is a winner of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award and the Leo Gershoy Award (1996), is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been a Guggenheim Fellow and an Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung Research Fellow. In 2013, she was awarded the inaugural International Research Support Prize by the Max Weber Stiftung and the Historisches Kolleg.

John Kerrigan (literary scholar)

John Kerrigan (born 1956) is Professor of English 2000, University of Cambridge.

John Kerrigan was born in Liverpool; he was educated there at St. Edward's College followed by Oxford, where he went to Keble, later becoming a Junior Research Fellow at Merton.

Since 1982 he has taught at Cambridge where he is a fellow of St. John's College. He has lectured extensively in Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and his publications on Shakespeare, early modern literature, and modern British and Irish poetry are internationally acclaimed. In 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. Visiting positions include UCLA, Auckland and Princeton.

During the 1980s Kerrigan established himself as one of a group of scholars who revolutionised the editing of Shakespeare by discrediting the practice of 'conflating' variant early texts of such plays as Hamlet and King Lear, though his position, like that of others, has become more complicated over time. His own editions include Love's Labour's Lost (1982) and Shakespeare's Sonnets and A Lover's Complaint (1986). He did further work on A Lover's Complaint recovering its sources and analogues in Motives of Woe (1991). His recent Shakespearean output includes essays on 'The Phoenix and Turtle' (2013), an extensive analysis of the question 'How Celtic was Shakespeare?', and Shakespeare's Binding Language (2016). His 2016 Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures were published in 2018 as Shakespeare's Originality.He won the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in 1998 for Revenge Tragedy: Aeschylus to Armageddon, an ambitious study in comparative literature, and in 2001 published a book of essays On Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature.

Over the last couple of decades John Kerrigan has published numerous essays on contemporary poetry, including Seamus Heaney, Roy Fisher, Geoffrey Hill, Denise Riley, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Paul Muldoon.His Archipelagic English: Literature, History, and Politics 1603-1707 (2008) seeks to correct the traditional Anglocentric account of seventeenth-century English Literature by showing how much remarkable writing was produced in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, and how preoccupied such English authors as Shakespeare, Milton, and Marvell were with the often fraught interactions between ethnic, religious, and national groups around Britain and Ireland. He has written extensively for the Times Literary Supplement (London) and the London Review of Books.

John Lanchester

John Henry Lanchester (born 25 February 1962) is a British journalist and novelist. He was born in Hamburg, brought up in Hong Kong and educated in England; between 1972 and 1980 at Gresham's School in Holt, Norfolk, then at St John's College, Oxford. He is married to historian and author Miranda Carter, with whom he has two children, and lives in London.

Jonathan Raban

Jonathan Raban (born 14 June 1942, Hempton, Norfolk, England) is a British travel writer, critic, and novelist. He has received several awards, such as the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Royal Society of Literature's Heinemann Award, the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the PEN West Creative Nonfiction Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, and a 1997 Washington State Governor's Writer's Award. Since 1990 he has lived with his daughter in Seattle. In 2003, his novel Waxwings was long listed for the Man Booker Prize.

Though he is primarily regarded as a travel writer, Raban’s accounts often blend the story of a journey with rich discussion of the history of the water through which he travels and the land around it. Even as he maintains a dispassionate and often unforgiving stance towards the people he meets on his travels, he does not shirk from sharing his own perceived foibles and failings with the reader. Frequently, Raban’s autobiographical accounts of journeys taken mirror transformations in his own life or the world at large: Old Glory takes place during the buildup to Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 presidential election, Coasting as the Falklands War begins, and Passage to Juneau as the failure of the author’s marriage becomes apparent. Similarly melancholic and personal themes of turmoil and loss can be detected in his novels.

Literary criticism

Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of literature's goals and methods. Though the two activities are closely related, literary critics are not always, and have not always been, theorists.

Whether or not literary criticism should be considered a separate field of inquiry from literary theory, or conversely from book reviewing, is a matter of some controversy. For example, the Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism draws no distinction between literary theory and literary criticism, and almost always uses the terms together to describe the same concept. Some critics consider literary criticism a practical application of literary theory, because criticism always deals directly with particular literary works, while theory may be more general or abstract.

Literary criticism is often published in essay or book form. Academic literary critics teach in literature departments and publish in academic journals, and more popular critics publish their reviews in broadly circulating periodicals such as the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, the Dublin Review of Books, The Nation, and The New Yorker.

Mary-Kay Wilmers

Mary-Kay Wilmers Hon. FRSL (born 19 July 1938) is an American editor and journalist who has been the editor of the London Review of Books since 1992. She is a recipient of the Benson Medal.

Patrick Cockburn

Patrick Oliver Cockburn ( KOH-burn; born 5 March 1950) is an Irish journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times since 1979 and, from 1990, The Independent. He has also worked as a correspondent in Moscow and Washington and is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books.

He has written three books on Iraq's recent history. He won the Martha Gellhorn Prize in 2005, the James Cameron Prize in 2006, the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2009, Foreign Commentator of the Year (Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards 2013), Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year (British Journalism Awards 2014), Foreign Reporter of the Year (The Press Awards For 2014).

Peter Green (historian)

Peter Morris Green (born 22 December 1924) is a British classical scholar and novelist noted for his works on the Greco-Persian Wars, Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age of ancient history, generally regarded as spanning the era from the death of Alexander in 323 BC up to either the date of the Battle of Actium or the death of Augustus in 14 AD. Green's most famous books are Alexander of Macedon, a historical biography first issued in 1970, then in a revised and expanded edition in 1974, which was first published in the United States in 1991; his Alexander to Actium, a general account of the Hellenistic Age, and other works. He is the author of a translation of the Satires of the Roman poet Juvenal, now in its third edition. He has also contributed poems to many journals, including to Arion and the Southern Humanities Review.

Poor Things

Poor Things is a novel by Scottish writer Alasdair Gray, published in 1992. It won the Whitbread Novel Award in 1992 and the Guardian Fiction Prize for 1992.

The novel was called "a magnificently brisk, funny, dirty, brainy book" by the London Review of Books and is a departure from Gray's usual subject-matter of Glasgow realism and fantasy. However, its Victorian narrative takes in Gray's previous concerns with social inequalities, relationships, memory and identity.

Russia–South Africa relations

Russia–South Africa relations (Russian: Российско-южноафриканские отношения) are foreign relations between Russia and South Africa. Full diplomatic relations were established between both countries on February 28, 1992. Russia has an embassy in Pretoria and a consulate-general in Cape Town. South Africa has an embassy in Moscow. Both countries are also members of BRICS.

Seymour Hersh

Seymour Myron "Sy" Hersh (born April 8, 1937) is an American investigative journalist and political writer based in Washington, D.C. He is a longtime contributor to The New Yorker magazine on national security matters and has also written for the London Review of Books since 2013.Hersh first gained recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. During the 1970s, Hersh covered Watergate for The New York Times and revealed the clandestine bombing of Cambodia. In 2004, he reported on the US military's mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. He has also won two National Magazine Awards and five George Polk Awards. In 2004, he received the George Orwell Award.In recent years, Hersh has stirred controversy by accusing the Obama administration of lying about the death of Osama bin Laden and by disputing that the Assad regime used chemical weapons on Syrian civilian in the Syrian Civil War.

Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali Khan (; Urdu: طارق علی‎; born 21 October 1943) is a British political activist, writer, journalist, historian, filmmaker, and public intellectual. He is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso, and contributes to The Guardian, CounterPunch, and the London Review of Books. He read PPE at Exeter College, Oxford.

He is the author of several books, including Pakistan: Military Rule or People's Power (1970), Can Pakistan Survive? The Death of a State (1983), Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity (2002), Bush in Babylon (2003), Conversations with Edward Said (2005), Pirates Of The Caribbean: Axis Of Hope (2006), A Banker for All Seasons (2007), The Duel (2008), The Obama Syndrome (2010), and The Extreme Centre: A Warning (2015).

The Uncommon Reader

The Uncommon Reader is a novella by Alan Bennett. After appearing first in the London Review of Books, Vol. 29, No. 5 (8 March 2007), it was published later the same year in book form by Faber & Faber and Profile Books.

An audiobook version read by the author was released on CD in 2007.

Yojimbo (film)

Yojimbo (用心棒, Yōjinbō) is a 1961 samurai film directed by Akira Kurosawa. It tells the story of a rōnin, portrayed by Toshiro Mifune, who arrives in a small town where competing crime lords vie for supremacy. The two bosses each try to hire the newcomer as a bodyguard.

Based on the success of Yojimbo, Kurosawa's next film, Sanjuro (1962), was altered to incorporate the lead character of this film. In both films, the character wears a rather dilapidated dark kimono bearing the same family mon (likely the emblem of his former samurai clan, before he became a rōnin).

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