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Tatler December 2019 310 years Meghan Duchess Sussex.png
December 2019 cover featuring Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and highlighting 310 years of Tatler
EditorRichard Dennen
Total circulation
FounderClement Shorter
First issue1901; 122 years ago (1901)
CompanyCondé Nast
CountryUnited Kingdom

Tatler is a British magazine published by Condé Nast Publications focusing on fashion and lifestyle, as well as coverage of high society and politics. It is targeted towards the British upper-middle class and upper class, and those interested in society events. Its readership is the wealthiest of all Condé Nast's publications. It was founded in 1901 by Clement Shorter. Tatler is also published in Russia by Conde Nast, and by Edipresse Media Asia.[2]


Tatler was introduced on 3 July 1901, by Clement Shorter, publisher of The Sphere. It was named after the original literary and society journal founded by Richard Steele in 1709. Originally sold occasionally as The Tatler[3] and for some time a weekly publication, it had a subtitle varying on "an illustrated journal of society and the drama". It contained news and pictures of high society balls, charity events, race meetings, shooting parties, fashion and gossip, with cartoons by "The Tout" and H. M. Bateman.

In 1940, the magazine absorbed The Bystander, creating a publication called The Tatler and Bystander.[4] In 1961, Illustrated Newspapers, which published Tatler, The Sphere, and The Illustrated London News, was bought by Roy Thomson.[5] In 1965, Tatler was retitled London Life.[6][7] In 1968, it was bought by Guy Wayte's Illustrated County Magazine group and the Tatler name restored.[8] Wayte's group had a number of county magazines in the style of Tatler, each of which mixed the same syndicated content with county-specific local content.[8] Wayte, "a moustachioed playboy of a conman"[9] was convicted of fraud in 1980 for inflating Tatler's circulation figures from 15,000 to 49,000.[10]

The magazine was sold and relaunched as a monthly magazine in 1977, called Tatler & Bystander until 1982.[7] Tina Brown (editor 1979–83), created a vibrant and youthful Tatler and is credited with putting the edge, the irony and the wit back into what was then an almost moribund social title. She referred to it as an upper-class comic and by increasing its influence and circulation made it an interesting enough operation for the then owner, Gary Bogard, to sell to publishers Condé Nast. Brown subsequently transferred to New York, to another Condé Nast title, Vanity Fair.

After several later editors and a looming recession, the magazine was once again ailing; Jane Procter was brought in to re-invent the title for the 1990s. The circulation rose to over 90,000, a figure which was exceeded five years later by Geordie Greig. The magazine created various supplements including the Travel and Restaurant Guides, the often-referred to and closely watched Most Invited and Little Black Book lists, as well as various parties.

Kate Reardon became editor in 2011. She was previously a fashion assistant on American Vogue and then, aged 21, became the youngest-ever fashion director of Tatler.[11] Under Reardon's directorship Tatler retained its position as having the wealthiest audience of Condé Nast's magazines, exceeding an average of $175,000 in 2013.[12]

Reardon left the title at the end of 2017. The appointment of Richard Dennen as the new editor was announced at the beginning of February 2018, and he took up the post on 12 February.[13]

In 2014, the BBC broadcast a three-part fly-on-the-wall documentary television series, titled Posh People: Inside Tatler, featuring the editorial team going about their various jobs.[14]

In 2021, Tatler commissioned Nigerian painter Oluwole Omofemi to paint the last painting of Queen Elizabeth II before her demise.[15]

Little Black Book[edit]

One of Tatler's most talked-about annual features is the Little Black Book. The supplement is a compilation of "the most eligible, most beddable, most exotically plumaged birds and blokes in town", and individuals previously featured have included those from a number of backgrounds: aristocrats and investment bankers sit alongside celebrities and those working in the media sector.

Editors and contributors[edit]

Past and present editors[edit]

Clement Shorter 1901–1926 In 1900, he founded Sphere, which he edited up until his death in 1926. He died on 19 November 1926.
Edward Huskinson 1908–1940 Killed on 14 November 1941 by a train at Savernake station, Wiltshire[16]
Reginald Stewart Hooper 1940–45 Died in office. Previously editor of The Bystander from 1932.[17]
Col. Sean Fielding 1946–1954[18] Later of the Daily Express
Lt-Col. Philip Youngman-Carter 1954–57 Earlier worked for Fielding as editor of Soldier.[19]
Harry Aubrey Fieldhouse 1960–61[20]
Mark Boxer 1965 Officially "editorial director" of London Life. Also The Times's political cartoonist, and the creator of The Sunday Times Magazine.[6]
Ian Howard[6] 1965–
Robert Innes-Smith[8] 1968
Leslie Field 1978– The first female, and only American, editor[21]
Tina Brown[22] 1979–1983
Libby Purves 1983[23][24]
Mark Boxer 1983–88[24] Second term; retired just before his death from brain cancer[25]
Emma Soames 1988–1990[24]
Jane Procter 1990–99[26]
Geordie Greig[27] 1999–2009[28] Resigned to become editor of the Evening Standard[28]
Catherine Ostler 2009–2011 Previously editor of the Evening Standard's ES magazine; resigned December 2010[24][29]
Kate Reardon 2011–17 Previously contributing editor of Vanity Fair; prior to that, fashion editor of Tatler. Also a columnist for the Daily Mail and The Times.[30]
Richard Dennen 2018–present

Past contributors[edit]

Other editions[edit]

Country Circulation Dates Editor-in-Chief Start year End year
Ireland 1890–present Jessie Collins 2009 2015
Shauna O'Halloran 2015 present
Hong Kong 1977–present Eric Wilson
Singapore 1982–present Karishma Tulsidas 2021
Malaysia 1989–present Elizabeth Soong
Thailand 1991–present Naphalai Areesorn
Indonesia 2000–present Mrs Maria Lukito 2000
Philippines 2001–present Anton San Diego
Beijing 2002–present
Shanghai 2004–present
Korea 2005–2007 Discontinued in 2007
Macau 2008–present Steven Crane
Taiwan 2008–present April Hsu 2008 2020
Yu Lee 2020 present
Russia 2008–present Arian Romanovskiy
China 2012–present Shangliu Tatler


  1. ^ "A reinvigorated Tatler celebrates circulation success". whatsnewinpublishing. 11 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Tatler in Asia Hires Joe Zee Amid Rebrand". The Business of Fashion. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Busy Cupids". The Tatler. 21 December 1921. Retrieved 17 November 2022. At St. Peter's Church, Eaton Square, on January 4, [1922] Mr. J. A. Middle- ton, M.C., is to be married to Miss Dorothea Beighton, and on...
  4. ^ http://www.allposters.co.uk/-sp/Tatler-Front-Cover-Ginger-Rogers-Posters_i6835986_.htm [All Posters Tatler and Bystander Front Cover]
  5. ^ City Editor (28 November 1961). "Magazine Group Purchased By Mr. Thomson New Development Planned, "Illustrated" Ring Accept Offer". The Times. p. 12. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  6. ^ a b c "Editor For 'London Life'". The Times. 20 November 1965. p. 6.
  7. ^ a b Riley, Sam G. (1993). Consumer magazines of the British Isles. Historical guides to the world's periodicals and newspapers. Greenwood Press. p. 209. ISBN 0-313-28562-4.
  8. ^ a b c "The truth about the new Tatler". The Observer. 10 March 1968. p. 40.
  9. ^ "Queen of society revels in the spirit of mischief". The Independent. London. 12 October 2009. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  10. ^ "Former magazine chief is convicted of fraud". The Guardian. 1 February 1980. p. 2.
  11. ^ "Everyone loves new Tatler editor Kate Reardon". Evening Standard. 21 December 2010.
  12. ^ "Tatler Media Pack" (PDF). Condé Nast.
  13. ^ "Tatler magazine appoints new editor Richard Dennen who went to university with Kate and William". Evening Standard. London. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Posh People: Inside Tatler". BBC Programmes. BBC. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  15. ^ https://www.ft.com/content/48217065-1aa9-403d-bf5d-feab6bd10cf1
  16. ^ "Obituaries: Mr. Edward Huskinson". The Times. 19 November 1941. p. 7.
  17. ^ "Obituary: Mr. R.S. Hooper". The Times. 4 September 1945. p. 6.
  18. ^ "Resignation of Editor Of 'The Tatler'". The Times. 20 September 1954. p. 4.
  19. ^ Philip Youngman-Carter, by B.A. Pike, The Margery Allingham Society
  20. ^ Wintour, Charles (11 March 1993). "Obituary: Harry Fieldhouse". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  21. ^ Garner, Raymond (29 March 1978). "Raymond Garner takes tea with the Tatler, which is reborn next week with an American editor". The Guardian. p. 11.
  22. ^ 300 Years of Telling Tales, Britain’s Tatler Still Thrives Eric Pfaner, The New York Times, 5 October 2009, p.B7
  23. ^ Morris, Rupert (6 July 1983). "Libby Purves forced to resign by Tatler ethos". The Times. p. 3.
  24. ^ a b c d Brook, Stephen (10 February 2009). "Catherine Ostler confirmed as Tatler editor". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  25. ^ Perera, Shyama (21 July 1988). "Tributes as cartoonist Mark Boxer dies at 57". The Guardian. p. 20.
  26. ^ Lane, Harriet (23 May 1999). "Tatler editor missing believed culled". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  27. ^ 'The Entertaining Mr Sloane: An Interview With Geordie Greig', The Observer, 1 May 2005
  28. ^ a b Luft, Oliver (3 February 2009). "New Tatler editor to be announced next week as Geordie Greig departs". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  29. ^ Tatler editor Catherine Ostler to step down Archived 24 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Press Gazette, 20 December 2010
  30. ^ "Catherine Ostler steps down as editor of Tatler". mediaweek.co.uk. Retrieved 23 March 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • "The Story of Tatler: A 300-year frolic through Tatler's history, from coffee-house tri-weekly to glossy monthly". Tatler: 71–114. November 2009.

External links[edit]