The first number of the Texas Quarterly was published on February 22, 1958. As defined by the founder and original editor, Harry H. Ransom, the periodical, designed for the general literate reader, was to seek a balance among the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and fine arts. Despite its name, it was not designed to pursue regional or provincial interests alone. In its volumes leading scientists, novelists, poets, critics, scholars, statesmen, businessmen, architects, photographers, and artists had their say, delivering what the reviewer for the London Times Literary Supplement described as "crisp, topical essays rather than the refurbished bottom-drawer stuff." Writers included Sir Bernard Lovell, Robert Graves, Samuel Beckett, Allen W. Dulles, Harlow Shapley, Frank Lloyd Wright, Aaron Copland, Edward Steichen, Robert Penn Warren, Allen Tate, John Wain, J. B. Priestley, Angus Wilson, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Marianne Moore, Octavio Paz, Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, Ignazio Silone, Jorge Luis Borges, Dean Rusk, and Lyndon B. Johnson. The publication also produced special numbers on Mexico, Spain, Italy, Britain, and Australia, and on the art of South America. Available in both soft and hard covers, most became collector's items. In 1966 The Muse in Mexico, a section of the first special number, was in its third printing as a book. Other numbers of the magazine offered blocs of articles devoted to single topics, and supplements were later issued as books, among them the Centennial Celebration of Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du Mal," Richard Elman's A Coat for the Tsar, and George Garrett's The Sleeping Gypsy. Illustrations in the Quarterly reflected the scope and variety of its contents. Paintings, drawings, engravings, and photographs by many artists, some especially commissioned by the periodical, were included. The last issue of the magazine was in 1978.