Pitcher's annotated catalogue of its contents ("Literary Magazine and British Review" for the year 1788) reveals its explicit emphasis on biography. The great majority of these articles concern French notables, or the less familiar characters attached to them, with a clear editorial interest in contemporaries active in the ferment of the French Revolution. The emphasis on things French is also reflected in reviews and articles translated from French sources (including papers published by scientific societies). The editor records details of the original poems from "Angelina," but generally shows that the magazine reprints conventional fare. The "American Connection" is shown to be implicit from the outset of publication insomuch as the spelling adopted in early volumes is that established by Noah Webster, and not that followed by every other British magazine (or the "Literary" after 1791). Pitcher also remarks where the political bias of this magazine is strong and conspicuous.
Given this degree of editorial liberal-mindedness, Pitcher concludes in this two-volume study that it is a tribute to British tolerance that the magazine lasted as long as the middle of 1794, although admittedly the optimistically liberal politics championed early were sadly betrayed by le terreur (June 1793 - July 1794), and in the final two years, the "Literary Magazine and British Review" became increasingly less outspoken.
Dr. Edward J.W. Pitcher is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, and the editor of the Edwin Mellen Press' reference series "Studies in British and American Magazines." He has now produced an annontated catalog of the contents of the Literary Magazine and British Review (London: 1788-1794), a magazine that was meant to meet the needs of the cultured English reader rather than the tastes of the larger public.