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The London Magazine has a publication history spanning almost two hundred years, and has featured work by some of the most prominent names in literature, from John Keats to Hilary Mantel. In this curated selection, we share our favourite pieces from the TLM archive.

The Mother of the Child in Question by Doris Lessing

When Doris Lessing was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007 she was the eleventh woman and the oldest person to ever receive...

Three Poems by Selima Hill

First published in The London Magazine, October/November 1989 Deep in the Scented House Deep in the scented house, a herring merchant is parting his wife's buttocks with cold hands; while...

A Discovery in the Woods by Graham Greene

I The village lay among the great red rocks about a thousand feet up and five miles from the sea, which was reached by a...

Till September Petronella by Jean Rhys

From The London Magazine January 1960 There was a barrel organ playing at the corner of Torrington Square. It played 'Destiny' and ‘La Paloma’ and...

The Curtain Blown by the Breeze by Muriel Spark

From The London Magazine January 1961 It is always when a curtain at an open window flutters in the breeze that I think of that frail...

Two Wives and a Widow by Angela Carter

From The London Magazine March 1966 Two Wives and a Widow A modern version from the Middle Scots of William Dunbar If one night in the year...

Poetry | Full Fathom Five by Sylvia Plath

Old man, you surface seldom. / Then you come in with the tide's coming / When seas wash cold, foam- / Capped: white hair, white beard, far-flung, / A dragnet, rising, falling, as waves / Crest and trough. Miles long [...]

The Lake by Ted Hughes

Better disguised than the leaf-insect, A sort of subtler armadillo, The lake turns with me as I walk. Snuffles at my feet for what I might drop...

Poetry | A Letter from Brooklyn by Derek Walcott

An old lady writes me in a spidery style, Each character trembling, and I see a veined hand Pellucid as paper, travelling on a skein Of such...

Archive | Philip Larkin | Two Poems: To The Sea, Annus...

Two Poems, Philip Larkin London Magazine / January 1970 / Vol.9 No.10     Philip Larkin, (1922-1985) a prolific poet and writer of essays,...

Leaving School—II by Nadine Gordimer

My writing life began long before I left school, and I began to leave school (frequently) long before the recognized time came, so there...

Confessions of an English Opium Eater: An Essay by David Punter

Before its controversial and ground-breaking publication as a book in 1822, Thomas De Quincey's autobiographical account of opiate addiction Confessions of an English Opium...

The Wheelbarrow by V. S. Pritchett

In August 1960 The London Magazine published V. S. Pritchett’s short story ‘The Wheelbarrow’ alongside four poems by Derek Walcott and reviews by Louis...

Review | Promising Young Women by Caroline O’Donoghue

This year has truly brought to the fiction scene some of the most stunning and powerful female characters. From the extreme – such as My...

Archive | Notes on Raymond Chandler by Ian Fleming

With the protagonists of their respective novels being so similar, it is perhaps little surprise that the writers Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler struck...

A Message From T. S. Eliot

from The London Magazine February 1954 "What we need is the magazine which will boldly assume the existence of a public interested in serious literature, and eager...

Sonnet – A Dream by John Keats

From The London Magazine April 1821 As Hermes once took to his feathers light,     When lulled Argus, baffled, swoon’d and slept, So on a Delphic reed,...

Essay | Living in London: Highgate by Jonathan Raban

Jonathan Raban is an award-winning writer, author of among many others, 1974's Soft City, an early classic of psychogeographical urban writing. In February 1970...

Archive | Review | Evelyn Waugh on Don’t Tell Alfred by...

While looking through our archive recently we came across this review by Evelyn Waugh of Nancy Mitford's novel Don't Tell Alfred from 1960. Displaying...

Archive | Poetry | The Wiper by Louis MacNeice

First published in the May 1960 issue of The London Magazine (Volume 7, No. 5). Through purblind night the wiper Reaps a swathe of water

Fiction | The Mercedes by Anna Kavan

Anna Kavan (name at birth Helen Woods) is most famous for the psychological, otherworldly fiction of Asylum Piece (1940) and Ice (1967), and was...

John Scott’s The London Magazine by Matthew Scott

The Greek author Lucian tells of a lusty, young aristocrat who fell for a statue of Aphrodite and, willing it to be real, attempted to defile it. He had only the experience of other boys to go on and fell short when it came to the anatomy of women; congress was a hopeless failure and he hurled himself to his death [...]

Archive | Why I Write — Joan Didion

First published in the June/July 1977 of The London Magazine (Vol. 17, No. 2)  Of course I stole the title from George Orwell. One reason...

Alas for the Egg by Hilary Mantel

First published in The London Magazine, Dec/Jan 1986/87   On Sunday, they went to Nicosia. On their right as they drove, but far in the distance,...

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