The literary quarterlies
A new chapter opened in the history of the Welsh periodical press in 1845 when Thomas Gee established Y Traethodydd [The Essayist] as a quarterly, with Lewis Edwards as chief editor. As a young man of 18 in Aberystwyth Lewis Edwards borrowed some issues of Blackwoood's magazine, which impressed him deeply. He was introduced for the first time to the literature of England and Germany. He grew to appreciate these literatures when he went to Edinburgh in 1833 and was taught by one of Blackwood's most famous writers, John Wilson, - 'Christopher North'. It is hardly surprising; therefore, that Lewis Edwards based Y Traethodydd on English periodicals such as The Edinburgh review and Blackwood's magazine, with particular emphasis on theology, philosophy and education. Yr Adolygydd [The Reviewer] and Y Beirniad [The Critic] were similar publications, but were short-lived compared to Y Traethodydd, which continues to appear today.
There was a further increase in the number of periodicals published in Wales in the mid 19th century, and by 1861 Thomas Watts, Keeper of Printed Books at the British Museum was able to write as follows in Knight's penny cyclopaedia:
In almost every country the periodical portion of its literature has now assumed an importance unknown to previous stages of its history, but in no country is it so predominant as in Wales'.