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«Spectator»-Type Periodicals in International Perspective

Enlightened Moral Journalism in Europe and North America

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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 Spanish

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General Survey and Case Study on the Readers’ Letters

Abstract: In a first step, the present article shall give a general introduction to the Spanish spectatorial landscape, followed by detailed insights into the writing techniques of the espectadores. To this end, a selection of letters published within the pages of these Spectator-type periodicals will be studied and analysed in detail.

Keywords: Spanish Spectator-type periodicals, readers’ letters, spectatorial writing techniques

When studying the Spanish espectadores, a number of fundamental differences to the English prototypes The Tatler (1709–1711),1 The Spectator (1711–1712; 1714),2 and The Guardian (1713)3 become apparent: The main aspects in which the espectadores differ from the English prototypes of the genre are their publication date, the intervals of publication and the relationship they establish with their readers.

The first Spanish periodicals were published as late as the beginning of the 1760s, following an explicit request by the Spanish king, Carlos III.4 Paul-Jacques Guinard,5 an expert on the Spanish press of the 18th century, divides the production of the Spanish periodicals into an early period in the 1760s and a later period in the 1780s. After the second period, the press was drastically restricted, due to growing concerns among the country’s élite that the popular ideals and demands of the French Revolution might spill over into Spain. Compared to the English periodical essay6 The Spectator, which appeared daily, the publication intervals in Spain were much longer, as...

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