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Sir Roger de Coverley Papers: From the Spectator (With Introduction and Thorough Notes) by [Addison, Joseph]

Sir Roger de Coverley Papers: From the Spectator (With Introduction and Thorough Notes) Kindle Edition


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Sir Roger de Coverley was a character in The Spectator (1711). He was an English squire of Queen Anne's reign, Sir Roger exemplified the values of an old country gentleman, and was portrayed as lovable but somewhat ridiculous "'rather beloved than esteemed') (Spectator no. 2), making his Tory politics seem harmless but silly. He was said to be the grandson of the man who invented the dance.

The Spectator was a daily publication founded by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele in England after they met at Charterhouse School; it lasted from 1711 to 1712. Each "paper", or "number", was approximately 2,500 words long, and the original run consisted of 555 numbers, beginning on 1 March 1711. These were collected into seven volumes. The paper was revived without the involvement of Steele in 1714, appearing thrice weekly for six months, and these papers when collected formed the eighth volume. Eustace Budgell, a cousin of Addison's, also contributed to the publication.

The stated goal of The Spectator was "to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality...to bring philosophy out of the closets and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs and assemblies, at tea-tables and coffeehouses" (No. 10). It recommended that its readers "consider it part of the tea-equipage" (No. 10) and not leave the house without reading it in the morning. One of its functions was to provide readers with educated, topical talking points, and advice in how to carry on conversations and social interactions in a polite manner. In keeping with the values of Enlightenment philosophies of their time, the authors of The Spectator promoted family, marriage, and courtesy.

Sir Roger de Coverley, a fifty-six-year-old bachelor, was the benevolent autocrat of a large Worcestershire estate. The knight’s humaneness, according to his own opinion, is the result of his love for a beautiful widow whom he has wooed for thirty years. His kindness is equaled by his rigid control of his servants, whose morals, finances, and behavior are the assumed responsibility of Sir Roger. In London, he presides over “The Club,” an informal but close-knit group of men of divergent interests and personalities.

Joseph Addison (1 May 1672 – 17 June 1719) was an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician. He was a man of letters, eldest son of Lancelot Addison. His name is usually remembered alongside that of his long-standing friend, Richard Steele, with whom he founded The Spectator magazine.

Addison was born in Milston, Wiltshire, but soon after his birth his father, Lancelot Addison, was appointed Dean of Lichfield and the Addison family moved into the cathedral close. He was educated at Charterhouse School, where he first met Richard Steele, and at The Queen's College, Oxford. He excelled in classics, being specially noted for his Latin verse, and became a Fellow of Magdalen College. In 1693, he addressed a poem to John Dryden, and his first major work, a book of the lives of English poets, was published in 1694. His translation of Virgil's Georgics was published the same year.

Dryden, Lord Somers and Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax took an interest in Addison's work and obtained for him a pension of £300 to enable him travel to Europe with a view to diplomatic employment, all the time writing and studying politics. While in Switzerland in 1702, he heard of the death of William III, an event which lost him his pension, as his influential contacts, Halifax and Somers, had lost their employment with the Crown.

He returned to England at the end of 1703. For more than a year he remained without employment, but the Battle of Blenheim in 1704 gave him a fresh opportunity of distinguishing himself. The government, more specifically Lord Treasurer Godolphin, commissioned Addison to write a commemorative poem, and he produced The Campaign, which gave such satisfaction that he was forthwith appointed a Commissioner of Appeals.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 18678 KB
  • Print Length: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Balefire Publishing (30 September 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009K6KAE6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,67,740 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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