‘We have already so many periodicals that one often asks oneself, is a new one required? And one always answers oneself, yes, it is. That is why periodicals begin.' It is a question which must have often been asked recently, as well as by Rose Macaulay in the first number of the weekly, Night and Day, in 1937. There is much to be said for the argument that periodicals have an inherent life-span – longevity need not be a virtue; Blackwood's prolonged senility, before it closed last year, was evidence enough of that. Night and Day lasted six months. Its demise was sad, for there was no falling off in the quality of the last issues, and there has been nothing like it since. One of its contributors, Graham Greene, has commented recently that it was the victim of 'high costs and lack of advertising support. It was nearing the rocks long before the libel action.'
Graham Greene reviewed films in most issues. These have all been reprinted, together with those for The Spectator, in The Pleasure Dome. But his review of Shirley Temple in 'Wee Willie Winkie' cannot reappear yet, and it was this that took me to the North Library of the British Museum.