The History of Blackwood’s Magazine (Maga)

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The History of Blackwood’s Magazine (Maga)

Literary Magazines have had a tremendous impact on American and British culture in the 19th and early 20th centuries. One magazine, in particular, has gradually changed the way the world sees itself. Blackwood’s Magazine, also known as Maga, was founded in 1817 as a Tory rival to the Whig Edinburgh Review. The reason for the unusual nickname is that William Blackwood, the creator of the magazine, is said to have taken home the first number of his new magazine, and presented it to his wife with the words, “there's ma Magazine.” In affectionate parody, the journal thereafter became known as 'Maga' to all of Blackwood's associates and contributors. The magazine ceased publication in 1980 due to the shrinking readership.

Maga’s cover gave readers clues as to what they should expect inside the magazine. The magazine's cover was never without George Buchanan, a 16th century Scottish historian and scholar, glaring sternly at the reader out of the issue's central panel. From the beginning, he was regarded as the magazine’s trademark logo. Any reader who picked up the book could expect to find the same layout and logo, and the same mix of Conservative tinged articles, editorials and fiction inside.

Maga’s contents to a great extent reflected the personal tastes of the Blackwood family and Maga’s editorial staff. The Blackwood family had a strong personal interest in the workings of the Empire: William Blackwood's father and uncle had been Major and Colonel respectively in the East India Company; and 2 of William's brothers served and died in India, one of them fighting in the Afghan war in 1880.

Their views, and indeed even their leisure, led to the develop...

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...ath was one of the signals of the mark of a new era – the mark of a multinational world with no colonies.

Bibliography and More Information

Blackwood Magazine. October 1st, 2002.> .

Blackwood Magazine. October 1st, 2002.>.

Finkelstein, David. Blackwood’s Bibliography. Queen Margaret University College. October 1st, 2002. <> .

Sample Articles / Magazines

Scott, Walter. Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine Review of Frankenstein. Blackwood’s

Magazine. October 2nd, 2002.

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Search Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine. October 2nd, 2002.

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