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Edinburgh Review 1805-6
Or Critical Journal for Oct 1805 to Jan 1806


Published by Archibald Constable & Co Edinburgh, and Longman Hurst Rees & Orme, London. 1806.  Half leather binding with marbled boards. Spine has seven twin gold rules and is lettered in gold EDINBURGH REVIEW and VOL (Numeral) and YEAR(S). All edges speckled.


Leather binding and marble boards have some small signs of aging but the gilt is still bright.  Main text is clean with some age toning, some foxing mostly confined to first and last few leaves. Foxing on endpapers and some light browning through age. Please see pictures provided.


The Edinburgh Review covered a wide range of subjects: literature and drama, theology, philosophy, history, politics, economics, travel, and science. During the early years of its life the founders contributed to it in different ways: Horner wrote mainly about political and economic issues, Smith took on philosophy, theology, and some literary subjects; Brougham and Jeffrey were the most prolific and eclectic contributors. During his editorship Jeffrey revised every single article, thus ensuring the homogeneity of style that characterized the journal. But the real secret of the Edinburgh's instant success was the practice of placing in every issue some aggressively critical, irreverent, or sarcastic article, a genre in which, in different ways, Jeffrey, Smith, and Brougham were all masters.

Founders of the Edinburgh Review, were a group of young intellectuals, united by literary and political ambitions and by liberal views, who met in Edinburgh, where in 1802 they started a new, instantly successful periodical. They called it the Edinburgh Review after the journal of the same name published in 1755–6 by the leading members of the Select Society of Edinburgh, Adam Smith (1723–1790) and Allan Ramsay of Kinkell (1713–1784). While in later years the Edinburgh Review relied on a wide circle of contributors, the original group included four members: Francis Jeffrey (1773–1850), Francis Horner (1778–1817), Henry Peter Brougham (1778–1868), and Sydney Smith (1771–1845). Initially Sydney Smith acted as editor, with a considerable input from Jeffrey, Horner, and Brougham, but in 1803 he was replaced by Francis Jeffrey, who continued to run the journal until 1829; it was above all his energetic and meticulous editorship that gave the Edinburgh its distinctive character.

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