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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 from the Kingdom of Poland


Abstract: The political and economic dominance of the Polish aristocracy did not facilitate the development of the press market in 18th century Poland. The de facto centre of spectatorial publishing in the Kingdom of Poland was the province of Royal Prussia, which, at the time, was inhabited by an influential German-speaking middle class. However, the most important Polish moral magazine, The Monitor, regarded as the leading voice of the early Polish Enlightenment, was issued in Warsaw between 1765 and 1785.

Keywords: Spectator-type periodicals in Poland, moral weeklies in Royal Prussia, moral weeklies in Warsaw

The origins and development of the press market in the Kingdom of Poland in the 18th century

The history of the press in the Kingdom of Poland may be considered as analogous to that of other European countries as far as the origins of the periodical press are concerned. However, the widespread distribution of periodicals and the emergence of the press market began significantly later than in most other parts of Europe.

The generally accepted starting point for Polish-language press activity is 1661. The first newspaper, entitled Merkuriusz Polski (“Polish Mercury”),1 was published in Cracow; it was commissioned by the Polish Royal Court. The second one, Mercurius Polonicus,2 emerged 37 years later (1698), and two others, Nowiny polskie (“Polish News”)3 and Relata refero (“I tell what I have been told”),4 appeared almost 70 years later, in 1729. Thus, the very early beginnings...

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