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Listener, The


circulation literary

a weekly journal begun by the BBC in 1929 to publish broadcast talks and to promote its work in adult education. Richard Lambert was its first editor. In its early years the texts of broadcasts included work by Desmond MacCarthy, Herbert Read, and Julian Huxley; Vita Sackville-West and Edwin Muir were the principal book reviewers. Under J. R. Ackerley's literary editorship from 1935 to 1959 the Listener became an important forum for new poetry, publishing verse by W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, Louis MacNeice, Stephen Spender, and other notable poets of the period. Throughout the Second World War, when the publication of Churchill's speeches attracted a wide readership, circulation rose steadily to a peak of 150,000 in 1949. In the 1960s and 1970s the Listener maintained its literary and intellectual standards while keeping abreast of an increasingly eclectic cultural environment. Following a marked decline in circulation from 1980 onward, it was discontinued in December 1990.

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