The English Review

English Review

General Description

Date: 1908-1937


◦ MacShane, Frank. “The English Review”. South Atlantic Quarterly 60:3 (Summer 1961). pp.311-320.

◦ Sullivan, Alvin, ed. “The English Review”. British Literary Magazines. vol.3.Westport, CT: Greenwood Press,1983-. pp. 125-129.

Scholarly Commentary


The English Review.London, [Gerald Duckworth,1908-1909], [Chapman and Hall,1909-1910], [English Review,1910-1924, 1936-1937], et al.

Ford Madox Heuffer (later Ford) began The English Review in December of 1908 as a venue for some of the most impressive writers of the day. The first issue included original work by Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Conrad, Galsworthy, W.H. Hudson, and Wells, and Ford maintained this level of quality throughout his tenure, publishing the early work of Pound, Lawrence, and Wyndham Lewis as well. Issued as a monthly magazine of about 175 pages at half a crown, The English Review did not exceed a circulation of 1,000 during Ford's editorship, despite its literary excellence. Not a businessman, Ford held his post as editor for one year only, and was succeeded by Austin Harrison when the Review ran out of money late in 1909. In his 13-year tenure, Harrison managed to attract such contributors as Sherwood Anderson, Chekhov, Herman Hesse, Aldous Huxley, Katherine Mansfield, Bertrand Russell, G. B. Shaw, Turgenev, and Yeats; however, his editorship marked a decline in the journal's overall quality. Later editors were Ernest Remnant (1923-1931), Douglas Jerrold (1931-1935), Wilfrid Hindle (1936), and Derek Walker-Smith (1936-1937). In 1937, The English Review, having grown increasingly conservative and less literary in these subsequent years, was absorbed by The National Review.

The English Review under Ford was primarily a forum for original creative work, not a “review” in the traditional sense. According to legend, the first issue began with Ford learning that Hardy couldn't find a journal to publish his poem, “A Sunday Morning Tragedy”. Both eager for new geniuses and appreciative of established writers, Ford had a keen eye for literary talent. Furthermore, he had a real admiration for the Pre-Raphaelites; in the business office of The Review, he lined the staircase with engravings by Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown ( MacShane, 313 ). To the same issue of The English Review that saw the publication of “The Ballad of Jan Van Hunks” (as the first item of the January 1909 issue), Theodore Watts-Dunton contributed a reminiscence of Rossetti, and Ford inserted a facsimile page of the manuscript, as well as a caricature of D.G.R. sketched by Madox Brown. These two illustrated pages are the only two supplements Ford ever placed in The English Review.

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