Literary critic Frank Kermode, who has died aged 90, inspired the creation of the London Review of Books by writing to The Observer calling for the founding of a new literary magazine in 1979 – The Guardian reports today.
Kermode, who wrote more than 200 pieces for the LRB as well us much other journalism besides, must have been heartened by the title’s amazing popularity.
In an age where there has been much concern about dumbing-down the LRB has steadily grown sales to the current total of 48,555 a fortnight (up from just over 36,000 in 2000). Not bad for what must be one of the UK’s most high-brow magazines. A title which regular readers will know, contains a lot more than just book reviews – but some heavyweight essay-based journalism as well.