Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine was one of the most influential
periodicals of its day, bringing on the undiscovered talents of
contributors like James Hogg and, later, George Eliot and Joseph
Conrad. He first hit upon the idea of publishing stories in serial
form, and made contemporary writing available at a low cost.
Blackwood was apprenticed to an Edinburgh bookseller at the age
of fourteen. After a period in London and Glasgow, he established
hinself as a bookseller and publisher in 1804. His firm grew rapidly
in size and reputation, and in 1817 William Blackwood consolidated
his fiem's position as a major force in British literary publishing
by starting Blackwood's Magazine, or 'Maga', a monthly journal
produced as a Tory response to the Whig influenced Edinburgh Review.
Blackwood published many of the leading authors of his day, both
in book form and in Blackwood's Magazine. Authors associated with
his firm included John Galt, Susan Ferrier, Thomas de Quincey
and James Hogg. William Blackwood died in Edinburgh on 16 September