The TLS was born in January 1902. Its first ever front page bashfully stated: “during the Parliamentary session Literary Supplements to ‘The Times’ will appear as often as may be necessary in order to keep abreast with the more important publications of the day”. Fortunately, that question of necessity was not left in the hands of literary journalists (who, we can imagine, might occasionally push for a holiday or two), and the title became a weekly one. A few years later, the TLS split entirely from The Times.
Since then, we have prided ourselves on being the world’s leading journal for literature and ideas. Every week, we publish book reviews, book extracts, essays and poems from leading writers from around the world. We cover far more than just literature, featuring major articles on subjects from anthropology to zoology, philosophy to politics, comedy to psychology. We are the only major English-language publication to review books published in other languages, including French, Spanish, German, Italian and Russian. Each week, we also review the latest in fiction, film, opera, theatre, dance, radio and television. Our guiding principle for the selection of pieces remains twofold: is it interesting; and is it beautifully written?
Over the years, our contributors have included Virginia Woolf, Henry James, T. S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Muriel Spark, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Italo Calvino, Patricia Highsmith, Milan Kundera, Philip Larkin, Mario Vargas Llosa, Joseph Brodsky, Susan Sontag, Gore Vidal, Christopher Hitchens, Orhan Pamuk, Martin Amis, Svetlana Alexievich, Geoffrey Hill, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Ricks, Mary Beard, V. S. Naipaul, Hilary Mantel, George Orwell, Seamus Heaney, Doris Lessing, Paul Muldoon, Ursula Le Guin, Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith and many more.