The Little Review
Date of Publication:
March 1914 (1:1) – May 1929 (12:2)
Place(s) of Publication:
Chicago: Mar. 1914 – May 1916; Nov. 1916 – Jan. 1917
San Francisco: Jun – Sept. 1916
New York: Feb.1917 – 1926
Paris: May 1929
Frequency of Publication:
Monthly: March 1914 – April 1920
Irregular: July/Aug. 1920 – May 1929
Individual Issues: March 1927, May 1929
Some estimate that the subscription was 2000, however the more accepted estimate places it at 1000 (Hoffman)
Margaret C. Anderson
6 x 9″, 50 – 100 pages in length, brown covered. In 1921, better paper quality and increased size – 8 x 10″
25 cents per copy / $2.50 per year
Margaret Anderson: 1914 – 1924
jh (Jane Heap): 1924 – 1929
jh (Jane Heap): 1916 – 1924
Margaret Anderson: May 1929
Libraries with Original Issues:
Cambridge University; Smithsonian Institute; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Brown University; Ohio State University; University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1967
Margaret Anderson’s belief that art and life are inseparable inspired The Little Review. Anderson’s indiscriminate enthusiasm and diverse interests led to widely varied contributions during the magazine’s first years of publication. In 1916 Anderson persuaded publisher Jane Heap to contribute to the magazine and assume the role of co-editor, and together the editors – and sometimes lovers – looked to improve the quality of published contributions. Believing that the level of work printed in The Little Review was below their expectations and the public’s ability, Anderson sent a challenge to her readers and contributors in the August 1916 issue: “If there is only one beautiful thing for the September number it shall go in and the other pages will be left blank” (Anderson, “A Real Magazine,” III:v:2). The September issue featured thirteen blank pages and a set of cartoons depicting the bored editors.
In response to this public declaration of deflated hopes, Ezra Pound offered to become The Little Review’s foreign editor. Anderson’s agreement to give Pound space to publish without interference proved hugely important to the magazine: critics often emphasize the importance of the works that T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Wyndham Lewis contributed in Pound’s section. Indeed, it was Pound who helped obtain rights to publish Joyce’s Ulysses serially, which led to much controversy: Anderson and Heap were found guilty of publishing obscenity and copies of The Little Review were confiscated across the country.
Margaret Anderson cheerfully greeted her audience in her first issue of the Little Review:
“[The Little Review’s] ambitious aim is to produce criticism of books, music, art, drama, and life that shall be fresh and constructive, and intelligent from the artist’s point of view…. Criticism that is creative–that is our high goal. And criticism is never a merely interpretive function; it is creation: it gives birth! … [S]ince The Little Review, which is nearly directly nor indirectly connected in any way with any organization, society, company, cult or movement, is the personal enterprise of the editor, it shall enjoy the untrammeled liberty which is the life of Art. And now that we’ve made our formal bow we may say confidentially that we take a certain joyous pride in confessing our youth, our perfectly inexpressible enthusiasm, and our courage in the face of a serious undertaking; for those qualities mean freshness, reverence, and victory! At least we have got to the age when we realize that all beautiful things make a place for themselves sooner or later in the world. And we hope to be very beautiful! If you’ve ever read poetry with a feeling that it was your religion, your very life; if you’ve ever come suddenly upon the whiteness of a Venus in a dim, deep room; if you’ve ever felt music replacing your shabby soul with a new one of shining gold; if, in the early morning, you’ve watched a bird with great white wings fly from the edge of the sea straight up into the rose-colored sun – if these things have happened to you and continue to happen till you’re left quite speechless with the wonder of it all, then you’ll understand our hope to bring them nearer to the common experience of the people who read us.”
Anderson, Margaret. “Announcement.” 1:1 (Mar 1914): 1-2.
Margaret Anderson (Nov. 24, 1886 – Oct. 19, 1973)
Editor: Mar. 1914 – 1924; Associate Editor: May 1929
Margaret Anderson grew up in Indiana in a comfortable middle-class home. After leaving Western College for Women in Ohio, she landed in Chicago where she looked for work as a writer. She wrote for The Dial but, spurred by a lack of inspiration, she founded The Little Review in March 1914. When Anderson and Jane Heap began publishing selections of James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1921 they were convicted in New York of publishing obscenity. Anderson moved to Paris in 1922, and as her relationship with Jane Heap deteriorated she left The Little Review in 1924.
Jane Heap (Nov. 1, 1883 – June 16, 1964)
Editor: 1914 – May 1929
Jane Heap was born in Topeka, Kansas and was interested in art as a child. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago from 1901 until 1905 and later studied art in Germany. Heap became co-editor in 1916 and contributed under the pseudonym “jh” to protect her anonymity. After the trial over Ulysses in 1921, Heap and Anderson’s relationship faltered, which led to Anderson’s leaving the magazine in 1924. Heap then became sole editor and used the opportunity to shift the magazine’s focus to the visual arts. Ending publication of The Little Review in 1929, Heap followed the work of Russian philosopher George Gurdjieff and began teaching his philosophy in London.
Anderson, Margaret. My Thirty Years’ War. New York: Covici, Friede Publishers, 1930.
“Anderson, Margaret C.” Archives: Fingind Aid. 26 Oct. 2004.
“Heap, Jane.” Margaret Anderson and The Little Review. 26 Oct. 2004.
Holly A. Baggett. “Anderson, Margaret.” American National Biography Online. Feb. 2000. Davidson College Lib., Davidson, NC. 26 Oct 2004.
—–. “Heap, Jane” American National Biography Online Feb. 2000. Davidson College Lib., Davidson, NC. 26 Oct. 2004.
Green, Michelle Erica. “Making No Compromise with Critical Taste: The War for The Little Review.” 26 Oct. 2004.
Hoffman, Frederick J., Charles Allen, and Carolyn F. Ulrich. The Little Magazine: A History and a Bibliography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1947. 52-66.
Image, cover Autumn 1924 – Winter 1925. “Ernest Hemingway In His Time: Appearing in the Little Magazine.” 18 Nov. 2003.Special Collections Department. University of Delaware Library. 22 July 2009.
Image, rollover, 9:3. “Apprenticeship and Paris.” 10 Sept. 2002. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. University of South Carolina. 13 July 2009.
Images. “The Little Review.” Modernist Journals Project. Web. 13 Jun 2016.
The Little Review. 1914 – 1929. New York: Kraus Reprint Corporation, 1967.
Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines vol. 5. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1968. 166-178.
Scott, Thomas L. Pound/The Little Review: The Letters of Ezra Pound to Margaret Anderson. New York: New Directions Co., 1988.
Wilhelm, J.J. Ezra Pound in London and Paris 1908-1925. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 1990.
“The Little Review” compiled by Sabrina Rissing (Class of ’06) and David Tulis (Class of ’05, Davidson College)