The Spectator


Published by J. B. Millet Company, London, 1901
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Spectator

Publisher: J. B. Millet Company, London

Publication Date: 1901

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: First edition, Temple Bar Edition.


Eight volumes, complete. Includes Appendices (3), Corrigenda, and General Index to the volumes Octavo. bound in three-quarter green morocco over marbled boards, decorated with delicate flowers on spines a and covers, lettered in gilt, spines with raised bands and extra gilt, top edges gilt, marbled endpapers. With forty original portraits and eight sketches by Railton; some plates in colour. No. 88 of 200 numbered sets. The Spectator was a literary magazine of some note in 16th century London and England, founded by Sir Richard Steele and Joseph Addison. It succeeded "The Tatler" which Steele had begun in 1709. "The Spectator" set out to inform its readers as well as impart and instruct in morality and aesthetics. It's motto was "Enliven With with Morality and to temper Wit with Morality". It used a unique method of presenting the stories, through a "Spectator Club" with imaginary members. Those members, who included representatives of commerce, the army, the town extolled the author's own ideas about society.Addison and Steele met at Charterhouse [school] and formed a lifelong friendship. Steele was the son of a solicitor in Dublin, born in March 1672 and Addison's father was the Dean of Lichfield, born almost two months earlier. Steele's father died when he was about five and through his guardian, Henry Gascoigne, he was sent to Charterhouse. Steele was welcomed in Addison's home and felt like one of the family. Both went to Oxford although Addison was the only one who took a degree; they went their different ways for several years and then found themselves both in London in 1704.Despite a modest daily circulation of approximately 3,000 copies, The Spectator was widely read; Joseph Addison estimated that each number was read by 60,000 Londoners, about a tenth of the capital's population at the time. Contemporary historians and literary scholars, meanwhile, do not consider this to be an unreasonable claim; most readers were not themselves subscribers but patrons of one of the subscribing coffeehouses. These readers came from many stations in society, but the paper catered principally to the interests of England's emerging middle classÑmerchants and traders large and small. -from WikipediaVolume I of the set begins with "The Spectator. No. 1, Thursday, March 1, 1711" and ends with "No. 635, Monday, Dec. 20, 1714" in volume VIII. Spines faded to brown, slight rubbing to extremities, else fine. Bookseller Inventory # 31554

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