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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.

SynopsisPeople 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 sands.  The Wedding FrameHer veil blows across his face As they cling together.Propped on the mantelpiece, The photograph...
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 gallows Moon-spider Moon-Coin Moon-flag Twenty-eight eights of moon Nailed on Calendars And on the walls of memory.Translated by Nanos Valaoritis
When Rose and Naomi, daughters of poor Rasovsky the tailor, left school in the same year there was no discussion about what they should do, because there was no question about the necessity to do it. Naomi was pretty...
Derek WalcottA Letter from Brooklyn 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 frail thoughts its thread is often broken; Or else the filament from...
  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 window ajar Curtained with yellow lace. Through the narrow crack Odours of wet earth rise. The snail leaves a...
Two fairytale poems from 'Mother Goose' by Bernard Gutteridge with a little twist, first published in The London Magazine in 1971.THE STEPMOTHERShe is like the Grimms And all that evergreen black forest Of all our childhoods Warned. The hair drawn back.The small...
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 hem of his fading gown Would he turn and show me a mystery Or with a silent...
From The London Magazine archive, read this short by Thomas Hardy from May 1903. The story was accompanied by illustrations by Gordon Browne. Thomas HardyA Mere InterludeThe traveller in school-books, who vouched in dryest tones for the fidelity to fact...
My writing life began long before I left school, and I began to leave school (frequently) long before the recognized time came, so there is no real demarcation, for me, between school and ‘professional’ life. The quotes are there...
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 [...]
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 path that wound along the contours of the hills. No one in Pete’s village had...
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 or kick up, Sucks and slobbers the stones, snorts through its lipsInto broken glass, smacks its...
Robert WennerstenHockney in L.A. 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 appeared in The London Magazine's August/September Issue, Vol. 13 No. 3, in 1973....
The first story written after his acclaimed collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, 'Cathedral' by Raymond Carver was included in the Best American Short Stories 1982. It then appeared in his next collection as the...
Hilary MantelAlas 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 far in the distance, was the faint blue line of the sea. Nearer at hand,...
When Doris Lessing was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007 she was the eleventh woman and the oldest person to ever receive the award. The judges marked her out as ‘that epicist of the female experience, who...
First published in The London Magazine, October/November 1989Deep in the Scented HouseDeep in the scented house, a herring merchant is parting his wife's buttocks with cold hands;while she has buried her face into the pillows to watch the zebras passing gently by:they seem to float like...
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 beams that sweep the warmed slates as they brim with offerings, a salver to the sky. Skimmingthe...
From The London Magazine January 1961It is always when a curtain at an open window flutters in the breeze that I think of that frail white curtain, a piece of fine gauze, which was drawn across the bedroom windows of...
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 just days before 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci', this sonnet shows clear similarities in theme...
As the young man came over the hill the first thin blowing of rain met him. He turned his coat-collar up and stood on top of the shelving rabbit-riddled hedgebank, looking down into the valley. He had come too far. What had set out as a walk along pleasantly-remembered tarmac lanes had turned dreamily by gate and path and hedge-gap into a cross-ploughland trek, his shoes ruined, the dark mud of the lower fields inching up the trouser legs of his grey suit where they [...]
From The London Magazine Stories 11, 1979Then the brothel was raided. Christ, he’d only gone down to Spinoza’s to confront Patience with her handiwork. She hadn’t been free when Morgan first arrived so he had chatted to the owner, Baruch —...
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 MacNeice, Roy Fuller and Frank Kermode. Pritchett, himself an avid short story writer, professed that...
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