Albert Furtwangler (essay date 1977)
SOURCE: “The Making of Mr. Spectator,” in Modern Language Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 1, March 1977, pp. 21-39.
[In following essay, Furtwangler contends that Mr. Spectator, the fictional editorial voice of the Spectator,was a “didactic figure” designed to promote the journal's “identification of moral improvement with reading improvement.”]
Addison and Steele had a very practical reason for creating the fictitious editors of their periodical works: canny self-protection. Neither Addison the rising politician nor Steele the ambitious soldier-turned-Gazetteer could well afford to entertain a broad public or moralize in his own name. Yet from the broad...
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