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London Mercury, The

belles-lettres, Georgian Poetry, Mercury, Bookman, Life and Letters

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Lights of Bohemia to Love in Livery

a monthly publication begun in 1919 by J. C. Squire, whose policy of presenting accessible belles-lettres in an attractively produced magazine made it remarkably popular throughout much of the 1920s. Poetry, essays, and fiction were supplied Robert Frost, Thomas Hardy, W. B. Yeats, Edmund Gosse, G. K. Chesterton, Virginia Woolf, and Katherine Mansfield. Squire's editorial stance was characterized by his disparagement of Modernism, which he regarded as an ‘orgy of undirected abnormality’; his conservative preferences made the magazine a forum for those associated with Georgian Poetry. Following a period of decline, the editorship passed to R. A. Scott-James in 1934; an immediate shift leftwards in the Mercury's political position was accompanied by the publication of more progressive writing by authors who included W. H. Auden, C. Day Lewis, Mervyn Peake, Christopher Fry, and Frank O'Connor. After absorbing the Bookman in 1935, the Mercury was incorporated into Life and Letters in 1939.

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