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Close Readings

Close Readings is a multi-series podcast subscription from the London Review of Books exploring different periods of literature through a selection of key works. Enjoy an introductory grounding like no other from Europe's leading literary journal: fluent, rigorous, irreverent and never boring.

Running in 2024:

ON SATIRE with Colin Burrow and Clare Bucknell

HUMAN CONDITIONS with Adam Shatz, Judith Butler, Pankaj Mishra and Brent Hayes Edwards

AMONG THE ANCIENTS II with Emily Wilson and Thomas Jones

New episodes will appear on the 4th, 10th and 24th of each month.

PLUS ad-free listening to two bonus series running in 2024:

MEDIEVAL LOLs with Irina Dumitrescu and Mary Wellesley (released on the 18th of each month)

POLITICAL POEMS with Mark Ford and Seamus Perry (released on the 28th of each month)

Also included in the Close Readings subscription, our full past series:

AMONG THE ANCIENTS I with Emily Wilson and Thomas Jones

MEDIEVAL BEGINNINGS with Irina Dumitrescu and Mary Wellesley

THE LONG AND SHORT with Mark Ford and Seamus Perry

MODERN-ISH POETS: SERIES 1 with Mark Ford and Seamus Perry


Listen to samples from each series, and other full-length episodes, in Apple Podcast, Spotify or search 'Close Readings' in your podcast app.

Listen in these apps:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • Google Podcasts
  • Overcast
  • Pocket Casts
  • iTunes
  • Podcast Addict


Choose a plan below:

Close Readings Subscription

  • Access to all past and current Close Readings series
  • Episodes from each new series released each month
  • Listen in your favourite podcast app
  • Cancel at any time

Close Readings Plus

  • 12 episodes released over the year, starting January 2024
  • The texts under discussion delivered to your door
  • Exclusive online events with special guests, and Q&A sessions
  • Transcripts and further reading from the LRB archive
  • Access to the full Close Readings audio subscription until end of 2024

Give the gift of Close Readings

A subscription is the perfect thing for the literature lovers in your life – and another great way to support our work.

Give a gift


How can I listen to a Close Readings series?

You can listen in your preferred podcast app. The Close Readings subscription will give you access to all the series in one feed.

How does that work?

Once you make a payment, you'll be given a private link which will open in your preferred podcast app.

Can I use my current podcast app?

We support Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocketcasts, Podcast Addict, Castbox, BeyondPod, Downcast, PlayerFM, Breaker, and RadioPublic.

Sorry, but we do not support Stitcher, Podbean, or NPR One.

You’ll also be able to listen to your audiobook or podcast purchase online.

What types of payment do you accept?

You can pay with any major credit cards, as well as Apple Pay on iOS and Google Pay on Android.

How do gifts work?🎁

You can gift someone a 6-month or 12-month subscription to Close Readings, with a personal message and scheduled delivery date, here. They do not auto-renew; you’ll only be charged once.