The full title of this periodical, founded in 1817 by the publishing firm of William Blackwood and Son, was Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, a reference to its Scottish origins which also hints at its intended status as both political and a commercial rival to the Whig Edinburgh Review. A miscellany rather than a review, the influential Blackwood's Magazine was run by John Wilson, writing under the pseudonym 'Christopher North', and J. G. Lockhart, who developed its lively, confrontational style in order to address a broader middle-class audience than its staid, Tory competitor, the Quarterly Review. Resolute in its defence of traditional institutions of power such as the aristocracy and the Church of England, it attacked the laissez-faire economics propounded by the Whigs. Blackwood's attack on what it termed 'the Cockney School' of literature, which included John Keats, William Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt, resulted in a feud against the London Magazine.
Blackwood's published poetry and humorous articles, including the Noctes Ambrosianae, accounts of the after-dinner conversations of an imaginary circle of friends, originated by William Maginn, later the founder of Fraser's Magazine. Blackwood's contributors also included George Croly, Margaret Oliphant, and the art critic, John Eagles.
Eagles's critical attack on Turner in Blackwood's Magazine, October 1836 provoked a hostility between Ruskin and Eagles, which, reinforced by Eagles's harsh review of Modern Painters I in Blackwood's Magazine, October 1843, developed into a long-standing antagonism between Ruskin and Blackwood's. (See Gross, Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters, p. 11, Hayden, Romantic Reviewers, p. 62, Houghton, Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, Oliphant, Annals of a Publishing House.)