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Rare Daniel DeFoe periodical...
Item # 207535 A REVIEW OF THE STATE OF THE BRITISH NATION, London, 1708 From research done by the prestigious London rare book firm of Pickering & Chatto, this is one of Daniel Defoe's greatest, but least known works. The Review covered his many interests, both literary and historical and was published twice and later three times a week. The reason for the neglect of this work is due in part to the tiny original print run of just 400, making this a very rare item.
Defoe's Review played a significant role in the birth of the modern press. It was not so much a newspaper dealing in facts but a journal of opinion and discussion. Along with politics, war, trade and religion, Defoe also uses the Review as an outlet for his amazing curiosity about ordinary human concerns. Defoes Review tapped into a new cultural community, helping to create the climate for Steele and Addison to develop the Tatler and Spectator in later years. But in some ways it was itself the most interesting example as it was the first of a new genre: the eighteenth-century periodical essay.
His grasp of trade and economics, particularly the new world of paper credit, was exceptionally acute, and in the Review he discusses world trade, European trade, far eastern and American trade in unrivalled detail. Long before the South Sea Bubble of 1720 Defoe warned against stock-jobbers, market riggers, projectors and other financial cheats. His many journeys through England and Scotland are reflected in the pages of the Review, which describes the trade and manufacture of the towns and regions of Britain.
Defoe fought for a press free of political censorship and championed the legal right of authors to their own copy. He attacked the civil restraints placed on Protestant dissenters. He consistently criticized English xenophobia, and campaigned on behalf of the free entry into Britain of all refugees, all foreign immigrants, all displaced people from other countries.
Unsurprisingly, Defoe's Review stirred up endless oppositions. He criticized, and was attacked by, the Daily Courant, the Post-Boy, the Observator, the Rehearsal, the Flying-Post, and many other publications. He received abusive correspondence and many death threats. He was threatened with mobbing, caning, beating and stabbing (he carried a sword to defend himself in public). He was persecuted at law, falsely accused to the Lord Chief Justice, threatened with arrest for debt on false charges, accused of debts for political purposes. His carefully built-up distribution system for the Review was sabotaged by political enemies, who also terrorized his printer into ceasing publication (Defoe hired another printer). These reactions were produced by the unmatchable brilliance of Defoe's writing in the Review week by week, though he often wrote his essays hundreds of miles from London for long periods together. Despite being harassed, injured, defamed and abused for nine continuous years, he produced the Review without fail three times a week. Among the targets of some of its later volumes were Steele and Addison in the Tatler and the Spectator, Swift in the Examiner, and other writers.
It was ultimately the governments imposition of a stamp duty, not a decline in quality, that brought the Review to a close in 1713. (courtesy Pickering & Chatto)
This is a generic listing as the issue you receive will have a slightly different date although from 1708 and the condition will be identical.
This is a complete 4 page issue measuring about 6 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches and in very nice condition with a bit of light foxing. A rare opportunity for a title I have not seen in my 30 years in the rare newspaper business.
Category: The 1600's and 1700's