Literary criticism has been called a story of reading. In what conditions have the best critical stories been told? From Jenny Uglow's account of literary journalism in the world of Henry Fielding to Marjorie Perloff's praise for the impact of the Internet on poetry publishing and reviewing,Grub Street and the Ivory Tower gives lively case-histories of the commercial and institutional contexts of writing about writing, with an emphasis on the vexed but at best mutually beneficial relationship between journalism and literary scholarship. Topics include the traffic between universities and the wider literary world in the `long' nineteenth century; the role of Blackwood's Magazine in the First World War; Virginia Woolf's work as a literary journalist; the early days of the London Review of Books; and the contested terrain of bookreviewing in contemporary Ireland. Most of the contributors are scholars who also command a non-academic readership, as reviewers and otherwise: among them Valentine Cunningham, Hermione Lee, Karl Miller, Lorna Sage, and John Sutherland.