Analytical Review - Dissolution and Brief Resurrection

Dissolution and Brief Resurrection

After Johnson was convicted on 17 July 1798, and before he was sentenced on 12 February 1799, he tried to prove that he had "uniformly recommended the circulation of such publications as had a tendency to promote good morals instead of such as were calculated to mislead and inflame the Common people". Periodical scholar Stuart Andrews therefore argues that the last issues of the Analytical Review "must be read in the light of Johnson's impending sentence". The June 1798 issue focused on travel literature and female fashions, and although it reviewed Mary Hays's Appeal to the Men of Great Britain on Behalf of Women, it did not do so with any "political bite". In the same months that the Anti-Jacobin Review launched its first critiques of the Analytical and other journals, the Analytical published extensive articles on the picturesque and other aesthetic theories.

The editors of the Anti-Jacobin Review took credit for the "dissolution" of the Analytical Review in the preface to their bound 1798 volume, writing: "The other object of our immediate attacks, the Analytical Review, has received its death-blow, and we have more reason to congratulate ourselves upon the share which we have had in producing its dissolution, than it would be expedient here to unfold." They also published a cartoon by Thomas Rowlandson entitled "A Charm for a Democracy, Reviewed, Analysed, & Destroyed". However, scholars attribute the end of Johnson and Christie's journal to Johnson's trial for seditious libel and the ensuing negative publicity, in addition to the deaths of Christie and Wollstonecraft in 1796 and 1797 respectively.

After its suspension with the December 1798 issue, the Analytical Review lay dormant until it was briefly revived as The Analytical Review (New Series) during the first six months of 1799. It was printed and sold by T. Hurst of Paternoster Row, apparently without any connection to Johnson or the prior reviewers. Unlike its predecessor, the new series was cautious; it reviewed relatively uncontroversial works and its articles did not have initialled signatures. This series lasted only from January until June 1799.

Butler writes that "one marker of the end of the bourgeois republic of letters was the jailing in 1798 of the doyen of publisher-booksellers, Joseph Johnson". Moreover, she explains that the seeming ideological "coherence" of the Republic of Letters, as it was represented in late-eighteenth-century British journals, was eliminated with the founding of the Anglican British Critic in 1792 and the establishment of the Edinburgh Review in 1802. The Edinburgh, according to Butler, "plainly set out to break the mould of existing journal culture". Rather than attempting to cover a wide variety of texts, as had the Analytical Review and its cohorts, it focused on only a few texts and restricted itself to subject areas that the editors deemed worthwhile. For example, it emphasized academic fields for which Scottish universities were well-known, such as the natural sciences, moral philosophy, and political economy. Radical political writings, classical studies, clerical writings, and popular literature were either excluded or ridiculed.

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