This collection of essays from the Spectator; includes introductory chapters on the historical background for this 17th/18th century Queen Anne period, on the evolution of The Spectator, and on the lives of Joseph Addison and Richard Steele. Steele, the founder of The Tatler, and The Spectator with Addison, sketched the corresponding plan of the Spectator's Club, with Sir Roger de Coverley representing the honorable values of the country gentleman of the best kind, as here set forth from the original issues of The Spectator in 1711 and beyond.
Addison's contributions to The Spectator are said to have perfected the essay as a literary form. His prose style was the model for pure and elegant English until the end of the 18th century; his comments on the manners and morals were widely influential in forming the middle-class ideal of a dispassionate, tolerant, Christian world citizen. His fictitious Sir Roger De Coverly Papers, according to William Makepeace Thackeray, give a full "..expression of the life of the time; of the manners, of the movement, the dress, the pleasures, the laughter, and the ridicules of society," for the period in a way that no pure history or autobiography ever could.
With questions and suggestions for study by Home K Underwood