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Ralph Griffiths

(c. 1720—1803) journal editor and bookseller


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Griffiths began his career in controversy, first over Ascanius (1746), a fictionalized account of the Young Pretender, and then for publishing Cleland's Fanny Hill (1749), which apparently proved very lucrative. In the same year he set up a new periodical, the Monthly Review, employing authors such as Goldsmith to review nearly every current publication; it was the earliest journal of this kind with such broad ambitions. W. Strahan was its first printer. Its continuing popularity may be gauged by the price of its shares: a one-quarter share sold for more than £755 in 1771, and £900 in 1789. He had interests in a number of other periodicals, including the London Advertiser and St James's Chronicle. See alsoreviewing in relation to consumption.

From The Oxford Companion to the Book in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Bibliography.


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