The launch of ‘The Movement’, with a ‘leading literary article’ in The Spectator in October 1954 and the subsequent publication of two Movement anthologies, Robert Conquest's New Lines and D J Enright's Poets of the 1950s, was a highly successful exercise in publicity. The Spectator's support put several promising young poets on the map, and its articles promoting them certainly boosted circulation when it was lagging behind the left-wing New Statesman, and feeling the draught from rivals like the liberal Time and Tide and the independent right-wing Truth (where Alan Brien and Bernard Levin were rising stars). But there was much more to it than that.
The Movement was a significant social and literary phenomenon. The Spectator’s literary editor J D Scott and his colleague Anthony Hartley had identified an entirely new climate created by some of the most talented young writers then emerging, a set of beliefs about poetry that divided them irreconcilably