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Margaret Atwood is The Gentlewoman’s 20th cover star, shot by Alasdair McLellan

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The Gentlewoman: Issue 20, Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the latest to grace the cover of The Gentlewoman as the magazine celebrates its 10th year and 20th issue. Photographed by Alasdair McLellan, who previously shot director Agnes Varda for the publication’s AW 2018 issue and Simone Biles for AW 2017, the author joins the ranks of eminent women previously selected as cover stars such as fellow writer Zadie Smith, director Sofia Coppola, Vivienne Westwood, Beyoncé, Adele and, most recently, Cindy Sherman.

Though fairly tight-lipped about the new issue during our interview for In Conversation, published in June 2019, the magazine’s designer Veronica Ditting did share an overall ethos for the landmark 20th edition. "It’s really exciting because it’s about looking forward, rather than looking backwards,” she said a few months back.

Previously in the discussion, though, she did cast her mind back to compare the magazine’s beginnings with where it stands in today’s cultural landscape. “Looking back at making the first issue, it was quite a challenge, but from the start we just tried to give the photography, writing, editorial and design, all of it its place. I think it goes back to the fact that from a design standpoint it speaks to designers, from a photographic standpoint it speaks to photographers and stylists. From a writing standpoint too, it’s much broader in a way. We really try to dedicate enough attention to all of those aspects which make it a whole.”

Atwood is about to launch her new book The Testaments, the sequel to dystopian classic The Handmaid’s Tale, although a recent hiccup at the Amazon dispatch centre means some lucky fans have already received their copy early.

The Gentlewoman further comments that Atwood is a writer “of great intelligence and optimism”.

The Gentlewoman AW 2019 is out tomorrow 10 September, coinciding with the publication of The Testaments.