Fitzroy Dearborn, Yet in many respects, the work of the earlyth-century ' familiar essayists ' reinvigorated the Addisonian essay tradition, though emphasizing eclecticism, flexibility, and experientiality.
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Charles Lamb , in his serial Essays of Elia published in the London Magazine during the s , intensified the self-expressiveness of the experientialist essayistic voice. Thomas De Quincey 's periodical essays blended autobiography and literary criticism , and William Hazlitt sought in his periodical essays to combine 'the literary and the conversational.
Unlike freelance essayists who can shape the article to serve the subject matter, the columnist more often shapes the subject matter to fit the restrictions of the column.
- Steele, Addison, and their periodical essays.;
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In some ways this is inhibiting because it forces the writer to limit and omit material; in other ways, it is liberating, because it frees the writer from the need to worry about finding a form and lets him or her concentrate on the development of ideas. Root, Jr. SIU Press, Share Flipboard Email.
Richard Nordquist is a freelance writer and former professor of English and Rhetoric who wrote college-level Grammar and Composition textbooks. Continue Reading.
Eighteenth Century Journalists and Periodicals
The 18 th century is remarkable as period in which the periodical essay that was a delicate and sensitive synthesis of literature and journalism. Reigned supreme Addison and Steele were the voices of a new and civilized life which sprang after the fireworks of the Restoration. When they began writing then society was divided into two camps of extremists.
On the one side were the Puritans, insisting on an impossible strictness of morals.
PODMESWAR HELP SECTOR: B.A. 2nd Semester, The periodical essay: Addison and Steele
On the other hand was the court, not yet completely free from the dissolute license of the Restoration. The Puritans, during their supremacy had imposed their own severity on others and was avenging by indulging in extreme licentiousness. The task of Addison and Steele was to reconcile with this aim they brought philosophy out of closets and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell at clubs and assemblies at tea-tables and in coffee-houses.
Addison was employing wit on the side of morality to raise the tone of the age. Steele had also the intuition of the synthesis and worked to rallies it, though he sought it chiefly by way of sensibility.
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In the Tatler, he discovered the charm of tender sentiments, of family affection, of homely manners. But it was Addison who enthusiastically coloured the Restoration license with morality. In the periodical essays of Addison and Steele, the early eighteen century life is conjured in such fullness that we seem to live there and know and love the people whose commonplace lives float along the stream of time, tide by bonds of family and passion.
The general aim of the Tatler is to expose the false arts of life to pull of the disguises of cunning vanity affection and recommend a general simplicity in dress, discoursed and generosity.
The chief importance of the papers lies in its social and moral criticism. Suddenly, Steele wound up the Tatler the second January , but two months later the Spectator began which appeared daily except Sunday. The Spectator became popular among English men and women belonging to all wards of life.