London Review of Books

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

The London Review of Books (LRB) is a British literary magazine published twice monthly which features articles and essays on fiction and non-fiction subjects which are usually structured as book reviews.


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] It became an independent publication in May 1980. Its political stance has been described by Alan Bennett, a prominent contributor, 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 2018 was 75,725.[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.