See caption
J. C. Squire, founder and editor from 1919 until 1934
Wikimedia Commons

The London Mercury was a monthly publication founded in 1919 by the English writer and editor John Collings Squire (1884–1958),[1] who edited the magazine from its inception until 1934. Its ambition was to fill a gap in the literary magazines market, fostering the teaching of English and appreciation of the arts.[2]

Popular during much of the 1920s, the magazine’s circulation went into decline before its editorship passed to the journalist and literary critic Rolfe Arnold Scott-James (1878–1959) in 1934. Squire’s editorial stance had been rather conservative and very anti-Modernism, but Scott-James switched the magazine’s focus towards the work of more progressive authors such as Mervyn Peake and W. H. Auden.[1]

The magazine purchased its smaller rival, The Bookman, in 1934, but ran into financial difficulties a few years later. The last issue of The London Mercury was published in April 1939, after which it was absorbed into Life and Letters Today.[2]


  • J. C. Squires (1919–1934)
  • Rolfe Arnold Scott-James (1934–1939)



Stringer, Jenny, editor. “London Mercury, The.” The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English, Online, Oxford University Press, 2005,