10,000 Not Out: The History of The Spectator 1828 - 2020


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10,000 Not Out: The History of The Spectator 1828 – 2020


ISBN: 9781912690817 Category:

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There is no journal with a livelier and richer history than The Spectator. As well as being the world’s oldest current affairs magazine, none has been closer over the last two centuries to spheres of power and influence in Britain. First issued in 1828, during the dying days of the Georgian era, The Spectator came out ready to spar – with the Tories and their Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington, with a corrupt political system, and with the lacklustre literary world of the day. Over the subsequent 52 Prime Ministers, The Spectator has not only watched the world change but waded into the fray: it has campaigned on consistently liberal lines, fighting for voters’ rights, free trade, the free press and the decriminalisation of homosexuality, while offering open-minded criticism of every modern taboo and orthodoxy.

10,000 Not Out celebrates the 10,000th issue and recounts the turbulent and tortuous tale of 192 years chock-full of crises and campaigns, of literary flair and barbed wit. Eight chapters chart in technicolour the evolution of the title – from radical weekly newspaper, to moralising Victorian guardian, to wartime watchdog, to satirical magazine, to High-Tory counsellor, to the irreverent but influential The Spectator of the twenty-first century. The book weaves together copious quotations from the magazine’s unparalleled archive, the contemporary press, private letters and staff anecdote.

Additional information

Dimensions 210 × 275 mm

David Butterfield

Author Bio

David Butterfield is a Fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge, and Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Classics. His academic research covers Latin literature, ancient philosophy and the history of scholarship. Previous books have studied the philosopher-poet Lucretius, the polymath Varro and the scholar-poet A.E. Housman. Outside the classical world, he has written regularly on any subject other than politics for The Spectator, where he is a contributing editor.



Book Type

Paperback / softback

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