The relationship between the Spalding Gentlemen's Society (founded 1710) and Richard Steele's Tatler (1709–11) achieved its most influential commemoration in Nichols's Literary Anecdotes (1812). While there were indeed shared ideals and anxieties that aligned this celebrated example of improving sociability with Steele's periodical in relation to such topics of local concern as London's relation to the regions, religion, politics, and the improving potential of conversation, there were also important areas of difference, notably the society's commitment to science and antiquarianism and its male-only membership. Analysis of the specific agencies behind the publication of the society's history in Literary Anecdotes shows that these areas of difference were crucial to the process by which the society became a fixture in the literary record. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, however, the society would move to a model of polite sociability far closer to The Tatler's ideal.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.