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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.

Poetry | Synopsis and The Wedding Frame by Hugo Williams

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...

Poetry | Poem by Kyriakos Frangoulis

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...

Fiction | A Third Presence by Nadine Gordimer

When Rose and Naomi, daughters of poor Rasovsky the tailor, left school in the same year there was no discussion about what they should...

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...

Poetry | The Sleepers by Sylvia Plath

    No map traces the street Where those two sleepers are. We have lost track of it. They lie as if under water In a blue, unchanging light, The French...

Two more from ‘Mother Goose’ by Bernard Gutteridge

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...

Ghost Story by J.G. Warry

For close on forty years I have pursued The ghost of my personality Down endless corridors of a castle Unsuccessfully. If I could catch him, I wonder, By the...

Thomas Hardy’s ‘A Mere Interlude’

With The London Magazine Short Story Competition now open for submissions, we delved into our archives for inspiration and found this short by Thomas Hardy from May...

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...

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 [...]

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...

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...

Hockney in L.A. by Robert Wennersten

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...

Fiction | Cathedral by Raymond Carver

The first story written after his acclaimed collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, 'Cathedral' by Raymond Carver was included in...

Alas for the Egg by Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel Alas for the Egg   First published in The London Magazine, Dec/Jan 1986/87 On Sunday, they went to Nicosia. On their right as they drove, but...

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 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...

Home by Kate Miller

Even a London house must have its swifts, the roof should be a beacon in the western light to guide them. Now, at evening, midges rise in...

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...

Poetry | A Dream by John Keats

This sonnet was written in February 1819. Keats copies it into a letter sent to his brother and sister-in-law, George and Georgiana Keats. Composed...

The Rain Horse by Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes The Rain Horse As the young man came over the hill the first thin blowing of rain met him. He turned his coat-collar up...

Next Boat from Douala by William Boyd

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...

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...

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