The Meaning of ‘Aardvark’

Two-hundred-and-fifty years ago, Johnson published his Dictionary, a work of genius and prejudice writes Robert O'Brien. read more

All that is Seen and Unseen

Dame Muriel herself is the major obstacle to reading her work, writes Peter Blair. It is difficult not to become emotionally involved in the author, either with her narratorial voice, or with semi-autobiographical characters which portray her at various points in her life. read more


The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography published in September is undoubtedly a remarkable thing, writes Robert O'Brien. But for those of a scholarly disposition, it is a monumental work to be surveyed with a mixture of wonder and rage. read more

A Little Gem from the Master of the Doorstop

Paul Johnson's The Vanished Landscape: A 1930′s Childhood in the Potteries reviewed by Philippa Turner. read more

The ‘Phoenix’ Queen

John Guy's ‘My Heart is My Own’: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots reviewed by Maria Bramble. read more


Leisure, the Basis of Culture

To read a literary journal requires leisure; and to be reading this new literary journal suggests an excess of it. Moralists and even some parents will stress that we must make good ‘use’ of our university years. But this word has mildly pernicious connotations of usefulness, and by extension utility, and a humanities degree should be, to all intents and purposes, useless. read more


The Caedmon Jazz

A poem by Chris Jones. read more


Thin on Plot, Not on Eyeliner

It’s a classic tale, writes Matt Bell: Macedonian lad with an affection for blond wigs and enough eyeliner to make a transvestite blush, meets horse stricken with fear of its own shadow. read more

Robert O'Brien

Matt Bell
Associate Editor

Andrew Cusack

Founded in 2005
the University of St Andrews
in Scotland

All text © The Mitre Literary Review 2005–present, unless otherwise stated.