The discovery of The Spectator- part 2

A young mind in an antique store might be hoping to stumble upon the likes of a magic lamp. I always wished for items to call out for me and draw me to find them and a book was no different. I always thought I might find an ancient book of wisdom that would provide me with the key to success and allow me to reach the ultimate wisdom.

With my new antique books I felt a mix of hope and fear. I bought them upon recommendation and even if it was written in the stars I still did not have a proper clue about their content. I was not even pleased with starting with volume 7 when volume 1 was out there somewhere and was the logical start. Nevertheless, I was told that each entry was independent of the other and that I can even flick the pages and start reading from the middle of the volume. I had a looked at the other books I bought. “Montcalm & Wolfe” volumes I & II and “The conspiracy of Pontiac” volumes I & II.

I noticed that the spines where too fragile and that by reading them I would surely cause more damage. Besides, the illustrations were of Native Indians and soldiers and I was, at that time, by no means interested in stories about cowboys and Indians. I decided that at some point in the future I might read these books or that one of my future children would find it of value wondering through my books as I used to do with my father’s library.

So then I turned my focus to The Spectator. The sort of book that would look pretty on a shelf of a wooded bookcase but the content yet to be judged. I turned to the first details;


Printed by C.Whittingham, Dean Street.

Published by John Sharpe, Piccadilly.


Then I start reading the essays in the periodical, which started with No 474. Wednesday, September 3, 1712. I was quite taken my the style. To see manners and thoughts addressed in such a way was something I did not expect from authors in the 18th century. I was drawn to Addison and Steeleā€™s Spectator and fell in love with the existence of such writings as I often thought of myself as a spectator watching and learning from life. If we were to rearrange the language a bit and add some modern day gizmos then any of the essays could have been based on daily life in our century. I felt some topics would even go beyond the cultural difference and overlap with current happenings in Kuwait. The astonishments the authors felt at times were similar to things I often wondered about. I admit that I did not read all the essays but I went on thinking of how human behaviour can be very similar across time and cultures. And that in every time and every place there was at least one philosopher and one Spectator.

One Response to “The discovery of The Spectator- part 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>