Francis Jeffrey Lord Jeffrey

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Jeffrey, Francis, Lord Jeffrey (1773–1850). Scottish law lord and literary critic, Jeffrey was called to the Scottish bar in 1794, but unable to attract work because of his switch of allegiance from his father's high Toryism to Whiggism, turned to literature and edited the newly founded Edinburgh Review for 27 years. He was an outstanding editor, and the Edinburgh Review became the most influential medium of critical opinion in Britain. Jeffrey's appointment as lord advocate in 1830 on his resignation from the Edinburgh Review was both a reward for his political services to the Whig Party, and a recognition of his legal qualities. He entered Parliament in 1831, but in 1834 became a judge of the Court of Session. However, it is as a literary critic that Jeffrey's fame rests: Carlyle even compared him to Voltaire.

Tim S. Gray

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Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey, 1773–1850, Scottish critic and judge. He was a founder and editor of the Edinburgh Review, which printed his critical essays.

See his Contributions to the Edinburgh Review (4 vol., 1844).