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Very first of the advice column newspapers...

Item # 697414

March 05, 1692

THE ATHENIAN MERCURY, London, March 5, 1692 

* Rare 17th century publication

This was the very first of the "agony aunt" newspapers, a newspaper providing personal advice to its readers.
In creating this format of responding to questions from readers, the publisher, John Dunton, did so as a result of feeling guilty for cheating on his wife. He thought that people like himself might appreciate confiding in a stranger --anonymously--& that readers would be titillated by the exchange.
It proved to be a success as he was bombarded with queries on everything from marriage to the ethics of slave-trading to why sermons seem longer than they are. There are 6 questions in this issue.
Single sheet, 8 by 12 inches, even foxing, very nice condition.

Category: The 1600's and 1700's