William Maginn (1793–1842) was chiefly known as a talented journalist of extreme Tory views. He was born in Cork and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, at the age of fourteen, after which he returned home to join the staff of his fathers boys’ school. When Maginn was twenty, his fathers death left him in charge of the school, which soon gained a nationwide reputation because of the abilities and personality of the young headmaster. In 1816 Maginn obtained from Dublin a degree of Doctor of Laws. Shortly afterwards he began to send provocative and learned contributions to British periodicals, including Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine. In 1821 he went to Edinburgh, where he joined John Gibson Lockhart (see pp. 131–2) and others on the editorial committee of Blackwood’s, and became one of the principal contributors to Noctes Ambrosianae, a series of satirical dialogues on literature, politics, and characters of the day, which appeared in Blackwood’s from 1822 to 1835. In 1823 Maginn settled in London as a freelance journalist, producing articles for the Quarterly Review and others, as well as for Blackwood’s. In 1830 he became editor of Fraser’s Magazine, a new periodical designed on a similar plan and format to Blackwood’s. Under his editorship, Fraser’s Magazine became known for the same qualities of acerbic criticism and aggressive Toryism that characterised Maginn’s own writings.