The Guardian

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In 1713, soon after publication of the Spectator had come to an end, its place on breakfast tables of Queen Anne’s London was taken by the Guardian. Richard Steele, continuing in the new paper the blend of learning, wit, and moral instruction that had proved so attractive in the Tatler and Spectator, was the editor and principal writer; in the 175 numbers of the Guardian he included 53 essays by Joseph Addison, as well as contributions by Alexander Pope, George Berkeley, and several others, some of whom doubtless transmitted their papers through the famous lion's head letterbox that Addison had erected in Button’s coffeehouse. “These papers,” as John C. Stephens writes in the introduction to his edition of the Guardian, “helped to form and to shape the morals and manners of countless generations in Britain and abroad.”

This first modern edition of the Guardian was prepared from the original printing of the papers, is fully annotated and indexed, and includes a comprehensive introduction discussing especially the authorship of the individual essays.

John Calhoun Stephens is professor of English at the University of Georgia. He has published numerous contributions on the literature of the eighteenth century.

"A superb edition of significant work by Richard Steele, Joseph Addison, Alexander Pope, George Berkeley, and other contributors. . . . It is indeed an impeccable edition."—Journal of English and Germanic Philology

"An occasion for celebration. Here, without a doubt, is an edition that has long been sorely needed."—Eighteenth Century

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Guardian, Richard Steele, Joseph Addison, English essays


Literature in English, British Isles


Edited with an introduction and notes by John Calhoun Stephens.

The Guardian
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