The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

IV. The Growth of Journalism

§ 22. The Saturday Review

In 1855, The Saturday Review made its appearance without the compendium of news which had formed a large portion of The Spectator and The Examiner, and the former of these, after the death of Rintoul in 1858, was remodelled in the hands of Meredith Townsend and Richard Holt Hutton. Until Gladstone adopted the Home Rule policy in 1885, The Spectator was his constant supporter; but its attitude towards the liberal party hereupon changed as to this and as to some other subjects.

According to their initial declaration, the Peelite projectors of The Saturday Review, as has been seen, wished to free thirty million people who were ruled despotically by The Times. Among early writers in The Review were Sir H. S. Maine, Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, W. Vernon Harcourt, E. A. Freeman, J. R. Green, Abraham Hayward, William Scott (an eminent Puseyite), Mrs. Lynn Linton and lord Robert Cecil. The paper was noted especially for the pungency of its satire, the brilliance of its style and the nicety of its scholarship. The political events of 1885 lost the liberal party not a few of its supporters in journalism, and, therefore, The Speaker was launched under the editorship of Sir T. Wemyss Reid, who had previously edited The Leeds Mercury. It was conducted with ability and existed a number of years without making headway in competition with The Spectator or The Saturday Review. Upon its discontinuance, The Nation appeared as an advocate of advanced liberalism. Other qualified successes in this form of journalism were Charles Mackay’s London Review, in which Lawrence Oliphant, Charles Isaac Elton and William Black, the novelist, participated in 1860, and The Leader, started, in 1849, with George Henry Lewes as principal writer and a staff including Herbert Spencer, Marian Evans, Alexander William Kinglake and Edward Michael Whitty—the last a peculiarly gifted writer of sketches of parliamentary celebrities.