As an editor, Karl Miller nurtured some of the greatest British writers of the age but felt an underachiever: ‘I would like to have been more a writer of books than I have succeeded in being.’
Miller, who died in 2014, was a Scot and founding editor of the London Review of Books, as well as literary editor of both the New Statesman and the Spectator (and editor of the Listener for good measure). As a behind-the-scenes figure he befriended and encouraged everyone from V.S. Naipaul and Beryl Bainbridge, to Seamus Heaney and Clive James. He resigned from his post at the NS due to (the then editor) Paul Johnson’s dislike of the Beatles, and some of Miller’s choices of reviewers.