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New Letters to the Tatler and Spectator

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New Letters to the Tatler and Spectator

Edited by Richmond P. Bond

Ninety-six letters to the Tatler and the Spectator, representing what was probably the largest extant body of unpublished material relating directly to the two journals, appeared for the first time in print in this book.



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5.5 x 8.5 | 248 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-73987-1

Ninety-six letters to the Tatler and the Spectator, representing what is probably the largest extant body of unpublished material relating directly to the two journals, appeared for the first time in print in this book.

The original letters were not published in the Tatler or the Spectator, but they were preserved by the editors and eventually found their way into the Marlborough and the Tickell collections. They have been prepared for publication and edited, with notes and an introduction, by an authority in the field of early periodicals.

The letters will be of especial interest to students of early eighteenth-century England, for few literary forms more clearly reflect the times in which they are written than the letter, particularly the letter to the editor. A wide range of writers is represented—the inarticulate and the witty, the serving maid and the gentleman. Subject matter is equally diverse, including such topics as women's petticoats, free thinking, the state lottery, the nuisance of a smoking wife, cock-throwing, and Platonic love.

Why the letters were not published in the Tatler or the Spectator is a matter for conjecture. Some of them were apparently used by Addison or Steele as topics for essays. Occasionally a letter was received or rewritten by the editors and printed in an altered form. Whatever the reason for their survival, these letters will be of value to students of language and literary journalism, social conditions, and popular philosophy.


Letters to the TATLER
1. Follies of the Town
2. An Experience with Sharpers
3. A Threat from a Sharper
4. Dental Hygiene
5. Support for Bickerstaff against Sharpers
6. Virtue and Riches
7. Extempore Prayers
8. Love for Mr. Bickerstaff
9. Dexterous Ways of News Writers
10. Usher at the Table of Fame
11. Cure of the Spleen
12. Canes in a Public House
13. The Speaking Doctor of Kensington
14. A Rich Quaker Lady
15. A Pious Widow
16. Platonic Love by Correspondence
17. Verses to Be Prefixed to the Tatler
18. Truthful Writing
19. Exportation of Grain
20. Lively Dead Men
21. Women as Scandalmongers
22. Seduction of Young Virgins
23. Rum Fellows
24. An Accident with a Cane
25. Reprinting of the Tat1er
26. Rules about Laughter
27. Request for the Tatler
28. Lashing Attorneys
29. Abuse of the Law
30. Letting of Chambers to a Tradesman
31. Noise and Knockers
32. Matrimonial Prerogatives
33. Ladies’ Riding Habits
34. Wide Quilted Petticoats
35. Funeral of a Sharper
36. Bickerstaff’s Breaking of His Word
37. Petition of Lacemen
38. Drama and Opera
39. Opera
40. An Injured Author
41. A Glister Driver
42. Troubles of a Servant Maid
43. A Visit to a Country Relation
44. A Vision of Love
45. A Lustful Sea Captain
46. Gratitude and Noble Resolutions
47. Reason and Religion
48. Humble Thanks from the Chanticleers
49. Ladies’ Paint and Cock-Knocking
50. Gaming, Elections, and Women’s Portions
51. Scholarships for Boys
52. Revenge of an Injured Mistress
53. A Noisy Knight
54. Intelligence from Edinburgh
55. False Report of Marriage
56. Abuse of Credit by Noblemen
57. Characters of Dr. Sacheverell
58. Servants as Guardians
59. “Good Mr. Bickerstaff”
60. A Smoking Wife
61. Petticoats
62. Ladies’ Letters to Men
63. A Lover’s Disappointment
64. Request to Answer Former Letters
65. Love and Coquetry
66. Request to Insert a Former Letter
67. A Quarrel between Fencing Masters
68. Promotion of Cook to Barkeeper
69. A Married Woman’s Dilemma
70. Friendship

Letters to the SPECTATOR
71. An Overbearing Father
72. A Lady with Two Suitors
73. “Follow Nature”
74. Multiplication Table and Beau at Bath
75. A Vicious Friend
76. The Death of a Beloved Wife
77. Text from Lucan and Verses to Mr. Spectator
78. A Truthful Tradesman
79. Ladies as Landlords
80. An Impatient Lover
81. A Lottery Hoax
82. Divine Verses
83. Inequality of Souls
84. Advancement of Virtue
85. Understanding and Counsel
86. Religion and Charity
87. Marriage for Money
88. A Club of Corporal Wits
89. Chiromancy
90. A Lover’s Repentance
91. Love Casuistry
92. Choice of Employment
93. The Ruin of a Young Lady
94. The Joining of Two Souls
95. An Alchemist
96. An Intimation of Immortality

Richmond P. Bond (1899–1979), the editor of this book, was Kenan Professor of English at the University of North Carolina.