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This report is taken from PN Review 265, Volume 48 Number 5, May - June 2022.

Four Decades of The Frogmore Papers Jeremy Page

Back in the early eighties, when times were tough and jobs were hard to come by, a group of young people recently graduated and with creative, mostly literary, aspirations fell into the habit of convening daily at the Frogmore Tea-Rooms in their hometown Folkestone, once-owned by legendary Channel swimmer Sam Rockett and once frequented by H.G. Wells. There, over coffee and teacakes, a plan was hatched to start a literary magazine with a view to providing a vehicle for the publication of work by their known associates, and in May 1983 the first issue of The Frogmore Papers, typed on a manual typewriter, photocopied and black and white, its front cover depicting a group of earnest ancient Greeks, appeared. In September the Papers will publish their hundredth number, in their fortieth year, having appeared regularly, for the last several years bi-annually, since that landmark first issue. Time, perhaps, to reflect on the goals the founders boldly – some might say loftily – identified for their fledgling publication: to publish work which, above all else, possesses quality and a respect for the written word; which uses words to subvert, to innovate, to communicate ideas relevant to the age, articulately, undogmatically, with clarity, integrity and vision. No pressure then! Thus was a high bar set, and if the Papers have not always achieved the standards they aspired to, they have certainly provided a forum for many a new and emerging writer over the last four decades, as well as enabled some more established practitioners to consolidate their reputations a little further and, occasionally, reminded readers ...


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