This article explores the origins of Critical Quarterly, situating it in relation to Leavisite ideas that were prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s. It argues that CQ presented a modified version of the Leavisite project, stressing (against Leavis) the continued vitality of contemporary culture, and seeking to expand the readership for informed literary criticism beyond the walls of the university. This democratising mission was to some extent shared in common with the early years of English at UEA, where it contributed to the founding of Britain’s first creative writing programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-14
JournalCritical Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Literary Criticism
  • English Literature
  • Leavisism
  • Periodical Studies

Cite this