The first of the nineteenth-century quarterlies, the Edinburgh Review was founded in 1802 by Francis Jeffrey, Sydney Smith and Henry Brougham to promote aristocratic, Whig interests. An important channel of laissez-faire doctrine, the Edinburgh had close links with Whig government ministers, and together with its Tory rival, the Quarterly Review, it acquired a reputation as a pillar of the establishment. Notorious for its hostile reviews of Wordsworth and the 'Lake School' of poetry, its administrative centre moved from Edinburgh to London in 1847. (See also Graham, English Literary Periodicals, Gross, Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters, Hayden, Romantic Reviewers, Houghton, Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals.)
Neither this periodical, nor the Quarterly Review, reviewed Ruskin 's work until the publication of Modern Painters III (1856) when their reviews included references to Modern Painters I. The critic, Henry Chorley, in the Edinburgh Review, April 1856, followed Elizabeth Eastlake, writing in the Quarterly Review, March 1856, in attacking Ruskin. Those periodicals which came to Ruskin's defence included the British Quarterly Review, April 1856, the Westminster Review, April 1856, the American Putnam's Monthly Magazine, May 1856, the Eclectic Review, June 1856, Fraser's Magazine, June 1856, the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, June 1856, and the National Review, July 1856. Many of these periodicals represented the interests of religious dissent.