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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 Sweden


Abstract: The article at hand describes the main features of the development of the Swedish moral weeklies from the genre’s early appearance in the 1730s until the 1770s. The 1730s were the genre’s prime time regarding the number of publications launched, their intertextual connection to spectatorial magazines in other languages and the success of one of the journals, Then Swänska Argus. From 1740 onwards, the number of publications within the genre declined, but the genre’s forms and modes were later adapted and applied in new periodicals as an entertaining supplement to other main content.

Keywords: Swedish Spectator-type periodicals, moral weeklies from Sweden, genre development

“Det är icke nog, at Sedo-Läran behöfwer likasom med skiämt söka sig förtroende hos Folcket, hon bör ock wara ombytelig i sine gestalter, åtskillig i Skrif-Arter och altid taga nya vägar to genskiuta de på Dårskaps-Bahnen löpande dödelige.”1 These words form part of the programme for a new weekly periodical, Then Swänska Argus (“The Swedish Argus”; 1732–1734), presented in its initial issue in December 1732. This periodical was not the first to follow the Spectator pattern in Sweden, but it was definitely the one that would pave the way for the genre as a whole for the entire century. A brilliant and successful early paragon, it inspired a large number of successors. Press historians have estimated the number of Swedish moral weeklies launched during the 18th...

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