This is just a bit of a fan girl post on a fabulous paper that is published once a fortnight. The London Review of Books started in 1979 when the Times Literary Supplement wasn’t published due to an industrial dispute. It is a joy and has the sort of long pieces that most papers no longer publish. Most of the articles are in the form of book reviews, though there is a lot of content that is not in that form.
What is really great about it is the writing. It’s long, it’s detailed and in general it’s intelligent and always interesting. In the current Corona climate, they are publishing a lot of older archived material that is still fascinating. You don’t have to buy the paper to get these. You can sign up for the regular email that gives limited access to the digital versions and currently all the ‘diverted traffic’.
One of the current archive selections is a wonderful piece from an autobiography by Lorna Sage – I have the book, bad blood, on my shelf. It’s worth reading this selection on ‘The Old Devil and His Wife’ again though. How about this for a sentence – ‘ Between the two of them my grandparents created an atmosphere in the vicarage so pungent and all-pervading that they accounted for everything.’ it just makes you want to read more.
I have always been slightly concerned that if I got a subscription to this paper, I’d not be able to read it all. I now have a literary fairy – who is a neighbour. He is a subscriber and we get to have his cast off papers. What a delight and what have I been missing for so long. I now have the ‘diverted traffic’ posts to keep my going.