William Jerdan was born at Kelso in Scotland, the son of small landowner. He attended a private school, studied law as a clerk at Edinburgh and London (1801), and was Writer to Signet in Edinburgh (1804). In 1806 Jerdan began a long career as a journalist at the Aurora, followed by stints at the Morning Post and the Sun. In 1817 he was editor of the Literary Gazette, where he remained until 1850 and in which capacity he knew many writers. The Literary Gazette was the first to publish "Barry Cornwall" and "L.E.L" Jerdan was made F.S.A. in 1826 and was granted a civil list pension in 1853.
The jubilee: a poem on the fiftieth anniversary of His Majesty's accession to the throne. 1810.
Six weeks in Paris; or, a cure for the gallomania. 3 vols, 1817.
Personal narrative of a journey over-land from the bank to Barnes, by way of Piccadilly, Knightsbridge ... and other countries west of London. 1829.
National portrait gallery of illustrious and eminent personages of the nineteenth century; with memoires. 5 vols, 1830-34.
Illustrations of the plan of a National Association for the Encouragement and Protection of Authors, and Men of Talent and Genius. 1839.
The autobiography of William Jerdan: with his literary, political, and social reminiscences and correspondence during the last fifty years. 4 vols, 1852-53.
Men I have known. 1866.