The prospect of a periodical helping to reform intellectual and cultural life, spreading enlightenment within the nation, and even promoting international concord, was attractive to Victorian intellectuals. It was, as intellectual historians have noted, central to the mid- and late-Victorian liberal enterprise. 1 This chapter will examine two journals which were founded in these years—the liberal Academy, established in 1869, and the international journal Cosmopolis, which enjoyed a short life in the 1890s. 2 The two periodicals had many affinities. Both aspired, by setting an example of impartial criticism, to foster the gradual growth of social sympathies throughout the nation. Both also resisted the trend of the contemporary learned journal towards greater specialization, and published articles across all fields of knowledge. Yet the divergences between the journals were equally significant. The progressive model of cultural evolution promoted by the Academy in the 1870s was increasingly questioned by Cosmopolis two decades later. While the Academy, moreover, retained a coherent ethos through all its diverse material, political fault-lines soon appeared within Cosmopolis. I shall investigate the two journals by focusing largely on Robert Louis Stevenson’s contributions—his book reviews for the Academy in the 1870s and his final novel, ‘Weir of Hermiston’, which was serialized in Cosmopolis in 1896. These writings help to illuminate a shift not only within evolutionist theories of culture, but also within the educated elite’s understanding of what higher journalism could achieve.