William Maginn (1793-1842) Child prodigy and brilliant linguist, Maginn graduated from Dublin University at the age of fourteen. An imaginative writer with a powerfully persuasive style, he was the originator of the Noctes Ambrosianae, a series of imaginary after-dinner conversations for which Blackwood's Magazine became famous. A successful editor of the Tory Evening Standard, Maginn was co-founder of Fraser's Magazine in 1830, responsible for establishing its reputation for wit and humour. Described as a 'useful partisan writer' by the Tory politician, John Wilson Croker, Maginn was a champion of social reform and used Fraser's Magazine as a platform from which to attack the utilitarian policies of the Whig government, paving the way for Thomas Carlyle's Chartism (1839). Admired by W. M. Thackeray, Maginn was the original of the fictional character Captain Shandon, who plays an important role in Pendennis. (See Thrall, Rebellious Fraser's)