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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.

Till September Petronella by Jean Rhys

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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...

Poetry | Poem by Kyriakos Frangoulis

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The moon is a sealed coffin A boast The moon of poets The moon of dogs The moon of ovaries The moon of astronauts The invisible moon Knived Sick Yellow Waning Moon-wreath of everyday Moon of...

Two more from ‘Mother Goose’ by Bernard Gutteridge

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Two fairytale poems from 'Mother Goose' by Bernard Gutteridge with a little twist, first published in The London Magazine in 1971. THE STEPMOTHER She is like...

Poetry | Full Fathom Five by Sylvia Plath

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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 [...]

Essay | Living in the Country— 1 by James Stern

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I had the good fortune to live in the country until after I came of age. I could recognize and name most of the...

A Discovery in the Woods by Graham Greene

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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...

Next Boat from Douala by William Boyd

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From The London Magazine Stories 11, 1979 Then the brothel was raided. Christ, he’d only gone down to Spinoza’s to confront Patience with her handiwork. She hadn’t...

Archive | Poetry | Rin Ishigaki

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Known in Japan as the 'bank clerk poet', with her work frequently featuring in the bank newsletter where she was employed, Ishigaki's poetry stretches...

Review | Promising Young Women by Caroline O’Donoghue

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

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

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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...

Fiction | On His Own Ground by Vis Nathan

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  First published in the December 1976/January 1977 of The London Magazine (Volume 16, No.5) Gopal entered his cubby-hole surrounded by huge racks bulging with musty...

John Scott’s The London Magazine by Matthew Scott

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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 [...]

The Mother of the Child in Question by Doris Lessing

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

Essay | The Bazooka Girl — A Note On Anna Kavan...

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If it is possible to concentrate the nature of a person's life into a brief sketch, then that of Anna Kavan is conveyed perfectly in her story Julia and the Bazooka, which seems to me a most symmetrical example of the art by which this obdurately subjective writer chose elements of her life and transformed them into something rich and strange and basically true. Written a year or so before her death in 1968, in a sense she even foresaw her end in this story [...]

Archive | Leaving School—XI by Ann Quin

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The following piece by the post-war experimental writer Ann Quin (1936-1973) was originally published in the July 1966 issue of The London Magazine, but...

Poetry | Synopsis and The Wedding Frame by Hugo Williams

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Synopsis People are taking sedatives in boats Going to America. Their names drift back to me— Hollowed out, unpronounceable. I walk through the crowds in the arcades And on the...

Archive | This month in The London Magazine… 250 years ago...

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As England’s oldest literary periodical, The London Magazine has an illustrious history dating back to 1732. To celebrate our heritage, we delved into the archives to discover what was in the magazine exactly 250 years ago this month, in March 1770. A selection of fascinating excerpts is presented below. Many of the writers’ concerns seem strange or even quaint to us now, but several topics of discussion seem to be of enduring relevance [...]

Hockney in L.A. by Robert Wennersten

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To celebrate the opening of David Hockney's exhibition 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life at the Royal Academy, we've republished an interview with Hockney, which originally...

Essay | Living in London: Highgate by Jonathan Raban

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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...

Leaving School—II by Nadine Gordimer

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

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

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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 | Coming to London IX by Christopher Isherwood

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The following piece was first published in The London Magazine August 1956 Volume 3 No. 8 as "Coming to London — IX", part of...

Archive | ‘A Message’ from T. S. Eliot

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"What we need is the magazine which will boldly assume the existence of a public interested in serious literature, and eager to be kept in touch with current literature and with criticism of that literature by the most exacting standards."

Archive | Roger Blin and Beckett by Mary Benson

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‘...Some were to say, “At last, a Christian play!” but I soon came to the conviction that for Beckett it was a mockery. I didn’t want to press the symbolic side. I didn’t bother the actors by saying, “Look, careful, this is very important, it means something other than it seems”. I wanted them to discover it for themselves; through the rehearsals they should give something surpassing the everyday realism of tramps — who finally are not tramps but you and me.’ [...]

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