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«Spectator»-Type Periodicals in International Perspective

Enlightened Moral Journalism in Europe and North America


Edited By Misia Sophia Doms

As soon as the Spectator model spread from England to continental Europe and began to be incorporated in French, Dutch and German translations and adaptions, the respective journalistic networks and negotiations regularly exceeded local, regional, and even national boundaries and took on international dimensions. The contributions of the present volume outline the historical development and the intricate literary, artistic, journalistic and scientific communication and distribution networks of the moral weeklies and periodical essays inspired by the Spectator prototype in Europe and North America. Thus, these periodicals become visible as parts and products of ramified learned and creative negotiations on genres, writing techniques and topics.

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The Spectatorial Press in Dutch


Abstract: The present paper outlines the main periods and tendencies in Dutch moral weekly publishing. Although academic research has, for a long time, been focussed on Justus van Effen, who published spectatorial magazines in both French and Dutch, many other writers between 1718 and the 1790s also took part in the endeavour of moral weekly writing or reacted to it by producing ‘anti-spectators’.

Keywords: Dutch Spectator-type periodicals, Dutch moral weekly publishing, anti-spectators

1 Overview

The Spectator genre in the Low Countries has been an object of investigation for a very long time, mainly due to the work of Justus van Effen (1684–1735), who played a major role in the introduction of the genre outside of England with Le Misantrope,1 a moral weekly written in French that was published in the Netherlands in 1711–1712.2 As we can see in the contribution by Klaus-Dieter Ertler to this volume, William James Bennie Pienaar has already written an extensive monography about van Effen and English influences on Dutch literature.3 His book was recently reprinted (in 2014), and although it deals extensively with the work of van Effen, its focus is mainly on his French spectatorial production. Only one of Pienaar’s chapters discusses van Effen’s De Hollandsche Spectator (“The Dutch Spectator”), the moral weekly written in Dutch that appeared between 1731 and 1734.4 Pienaar was not the first to discuss van Effen’s influence on the development of the genre in Dutch literature, as van...

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