London: printed for C. Bathurst, J. Buckland, J. Rivington and Sons, W. Owen, R. Horsfield , B. White and son, T. Longman, B. Law, C. Rivington, J. Dodsley, H. Baldwinm G. G. J. and J. Robinson, C. Dilly, T. Cadell, J. Nichols, R. Baldwin, W. Goldsmith, J. J, M DCC LXXVI . Full Calf. A new edition of this vastly influential periodical, edited by J. Nichols, with notes by Nichols and others, complete in six volumes. 8vo: , l, 440; , 456; , 412; , 432; , 448; , 504pp, with six portrait frontispieces and six full-page copper-engraved plates. Contemporary tan tree-calf calf, the flat spines in compartments between gilt rules, with red morocco lettering pieces. An extremely attractive set, the bindings square and tight, with fresh, bright pages and plates (occasional underlining in pencil). ESTC Citation No. T98535. Fine. Item #BB0758
The Tatler appeared thrice weekly from 12 April 1709 to 2 January 1711 (a total of 271 issues), as a single folio half-sheet, printed in double columns, containing between 1,000 and 3,000 words of text. A collected edition was published in 1710–11, under the title The Lucubrations of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq. Each issue originally was divided into four individual sections dated from different coffeehouses: accounts of manners and morals from White's; literature from Will's; scholarship from the Grecian; and news from St. James's. A further miscellaneous section is dated “from my own Apartment”. After six months, the paper's division into headings was gradually phased out in favor of single essays, written in the voice of Isaac Bickerstaff. The authorship of most Tatler essays remains unknown, but, according to Aitken (The Tatler, London, 1898), of the 271 numbers, Steele wrote 188, Addison 42 and the two jointly 36. Davis (Swift's Prose Works) lists six numbers (21. 31, 67, 68, 248 and 249) as contributed by Swift or containing letters or "hints furnished by him." "The Tatler seems to have enjoyed almost instant and widespread popularity. . . . [with] an original circulation of at least 3,000. The volume of correspondence within the Tatler may also indicate its popularity. Steele prints more than 200 readers' letters, many of which were probably genuine. . . . dated from as far afield as Edinburgh, Wales and Cornwall. Many of these letters are from women." (The Literary Encyclopedia).