Depicting a political rival : evolution of Richard Steele's essay periodical writing

Source document: Brno studies in English. 2020, vol. 46, iss. 2, pp. 195-209
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
The period between the Glorious Revolution and the end of Queen Anne's reign was a time when political parties struggled with one another in order to create their own distinctive identity. The rivalry between Whigs and Tories defined the political situation in early eighteenth-century Britain and laid the foundation for the development of the ministerial machine of propaganda aimed at discrediting opponents and justifying the policies of the government. The rhetoric adopted by the contemporary political writers included the reason-passion bias so inextricably associated with the philosophical background of the 'Age of Reason'. From this perspective, this article sets out to trace the evolution in Steele's journalistic productions (The Spectator, The Englishman, The Reader) and to delineate key changes in his strategies for achieving political goals and, at the same time, discredit his rival paper – The Examiner.
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