The Edinburgh Review is the title of four distinct intellectual and cultural magazines. The best known, longest-lasting, and most influential of the four was the third, which was published regularly from 1802 to 1929.
The first Edinburgh Review was a short-lived venture initiated in 1755 by the Select Society, a group of Scottish men of letters concerned with the Enlightenment goals of social and intellectual improvement. According to the preface of the inaugural issue, the journal's purpose was to "demonstrate 'the progressive state of learning in this country' and thereby to incite Scots 'to a more eager pursuit of learning, to distinguish themselves, and to do honour to their country.'" As a means to these ends, it would "give a full account of all books published in Scotland within the compass of half a year; and ... take some notice of such books published elsewhere, as are most read in this country, or seem to have any title to draw the public attention." Among the most notable of the foreign publications it observed was Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality , which Adam Smith reviewed in the journal's second and final issue, published in March 1756. Its premature folding was due in large part to the partisan attacks the Moderate editors received from their opponents in the Church of Scotland, the Popular Party.
A short-lived magazine with similar purposes, Edinburgh Magazine and Review , was published monthly between 1773 and 1776.
The third Edinburgh Review became one of the most influential British magazines of the 19th century. It promoted Romanticism and Whig politics.(It was also, however, notoriously critical of some major Romantic poetry.)
Started on 10 October 1802 by Francis Jeffrey, Sydney Smith, Henry Brougham, and Francis Horner,it was published by Archibald Constable in quarterly issues until 1929. It began as a literary and political review. Under its first permanent editor, Francis Jeffrey (the first issue was edited by Sydney Smith), it was a strong supporter of the Whig party and liberal politics, and regularly called for political reform. Its main rival was the Quarterly Review which supported the Tories. The magazine was also noted for its attacks on the Lake Poets, particularly William Wordsworth.
It was owned at one point by John Stewart, whose wife Louisa Hooper Stewart (1818–1918) was an early advocate of women's suffrage, having been educated at the Quaker school of Newington Academy for Girls.
It took its Latin motto judex damnatur cum nocens absolvitur ("the judge is condemned when the guilty is acquitted") from Publilius Syrus.
The magazine ceased publication in 1929.
The Scottish cultural magazine New Edinburgh Review was founded in 1969. In 1984 (from the combined issue 67/68) it explicitly adopted the title Edinburgh Review, along with the motto To gather all the rays of culture into one. From 2007 to 2012 it was part of the Eurozine network.The most famous issues of the New Edinburgh Review were the 1974 issues, supervised by C. K. Maisels, that discussed the philosophy of Antonio Gramsci.
The Scottish Enlightenment was the period in 18th- and early-19th-century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. By the eighteenth century, Scotland had a network of parish schools in the Scottish Lowlands and five universities. The Enlightenment culture was based on close readings of new books, and intense discussions took place daily at such intellectual gathering places in Edinburgh as The Select Society and, later, The Poker Club, as well as within Scotland's ancient universities.
Dugald Stewart was a Scottish philosopher and mathematician. Today regarded as one of the most important figures of the later Scottish Enlightenment, he was renowned as a populariser of the work of Francis Hutcheson and Adam Smith. His lectures at the University of Edinburgh were widely disseminated by his many influential students. In 1783 he was a joint founder of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In most contemporary documents he is referred to as Prof Dougal Stewart.
Henry Thomas Cockburn of Bonaly, Lord Cockburn was a Scottish lawyer, judge and literary figure. He served as Solicitor General for Scotland between 1830 and 1834.
Archibald David Constable was a Scottish publisher, bookseller and stationer.
Henry Hallam was an English historian. Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, he practised as a barrister on the Oxford circuit for some years before turning to history. His major works were View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages (1818), The Constitutional History of England (1827), and Introduction to the Literature of Europe, in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (1837). Although he took no part in politics himself, he was well acquainted with the band of authors and politicians who led the Whig party. In an 1828 review of Constitutional History, Robert Southey claimed that the work was biased in favour of the Whigs.
Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, was a British statesman who became Lord High Chancellor and played a prominent role in passing the 1832 Reform Act and 1833 Slavery Abolition Act.
Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey was a Scottish judge and literary critic.
William Taylor, often called William Taylor of Norwich, was a British essayist, scholar and polyglot. He is most notable as a supporter and translator of German romantic literature.
Henry Duncan FRSE was a Scottish minister, geologist and social reformer. The minister of Ruthwell in Dumfriesshire, he founded the world's first mutual savings bank that would eventually form part of the Trustee Savings Bank. He served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1839. At the Disruption has left the Church of Scotland and sided with the Free Church. He was also a publisher, a philanthropist and an author, writing novels as well as works of science and religion.
A literary magazine is a periodical devoted to literature in a broad sense. Literary magazines usually publish short stories, poetry, and essays, along with literary criticism, book reviews, biographical profiles of authors, interviews and letters. Literary magazines are often called literary journals, or little magazines, terms intended to contrast them with larger, commercial magazines.
Sir John Archibald Murray of Henderland, Lord Murray, FRSE (1778–1859) was a Scottish judge and Senator of the College of Justice.
The Quarterly Review was a literary and political periodical founded in March 1809 by London publishing house John Murray. It ceased publication in 1967. It was referred to as The London Quarterly Review, as reprinted by Leonard Scott, for an American edition.
English Bards and Scotch Reviewers is an 1809 satirical poem written by Lord Byron published by James Cawthorn in London.
The Speculative Society is a Scottish Enlightenment society dedicated to public speaking and literary composition, founded in 1764. It was mainly, but not exclusively, an Edinburgh University student organisation. The formal purpose of the Society is as a place for social interchange and for practising of professional competency in rhetoric, argument, and the presentation of papers among fellow members. While continuing to meet in its rooms in the University's Old College, it has no formal links to the University.
Alexander Murray FRSE FSA (Scot) was a Scottish minister, philologist, linguist and professor of Hebrew and Semitic languages at Edinburgh University (1812).
William Empson was an English barrister, professor and journalist.
Francis Horner FRSE was a Scottish Whig politician, journalist, lawyer and political economist.
The Newington Academy for Girls, also known as Newington College for Girls, was a Quaker school established in 1824 in Stoke Newington, then north of London. In a time when girls' educational opportunities were limited, it offered a wide range of subjects "on a plan in degree differing from any hitherto adopted", according to the prospectus. It was also innovative in commissioning the world's first school bus. One of its founders was William Allen, a scientist and businessman active with the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
Josiah Walker (1761–1831) was a Scottish author, from 1815 Professor of Humanity at Glasgow University. He is known as a biographer of Robert Burns.