Latest Issue

Striking lucky Jim

Literary agents read hundreds of novels by little-known authors-few become classics. Hilary Rubinstein describes hitting the jackpot with Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim

By Hilary Rubinstein   December 1995

Victor Gollancz Ltd

14 Henrietta Street

London WC2

November 1952

Dear Kingsley Amis

I don’t know whether you will remember me, but we used occasionally to meet for breakfast at Lyons in the Cornmarket, before you left Oxford for Swansea, and I came to London to work here. I happened to spot in the contributors note at the back of the recently published PEN Poetry Anthology that you are currently writing a novel set in a provincial university. If you are not committed elsewhere, would you care to send it to us when it is finished?

Yours sincerely


Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect