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WALTER BAGEHOT was born in 1826, and died in 1877. A banker, a merchant, and a shipowner, his excursions into literary criticism were of the nature of a leisurely aside, and took the form of articles contributed to the Prospective Review and the National Review between the years 1852 and 1864. He also made time to act as editor of the latter periodical, in conjunction with Richard Holt Hutton, from 1855 until 1864, when the venture came to an end. In later years he gave his attention, almost exclusively, to economics ; and, as editor of The Economist and author of a number of technical works, achieved considerable distinction as a political economist.
English literary criticism by way of review article may be said to have begun with the Edinburgh Review in 1802, and the mode was strengthened and extended on the inception of the Contemporary Review in 1809, and the London Magazine in 1820. Conspicuous among the early critics were Francis Jeffrey, foremost of the ‘Edinburgh Reviewers'; William Hazlitt, whose contributions to the Edinburgh commenced in 1814; and Macaulay, whose essay on Milton in 1825 was the first of a series which awakened the interest