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New York Review of Books on Eighteenth Century Collections Online

March 19th, 2010 by Chris Strauber

Aberdeen Magazine, 1761

The New York Review of Books has a fascinating article comparing blogs to 18th-century newspaper articles and pamphlets, commenting that they have similar tendencies to be brief, context-free, inflammatory…and often scandalous. Darnton suggests taking a look at a London newspaper from the 18th century in Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Conveniently, Tufts subscribes, so I’m happy to provide an example.

Topics in the Aberdeen magazine for the year 1761

  • essay On the frailty and fatality of passions
  • essay On the character of the Reverend Doctor Stephen Hales
  • a letter to the editor with advice for the new magazine
  • a short history of addresses
  • a summary of a speech given to the New York General Assembly
  • a letter to the publisher
  • excerpts from a biography of Phillip II of Macedonia

This is completely random, and most of it is actually blog-post-length. I’m intrigued by the similarities, and by the idea that perhaps our tastes and attention spans haven’t changed as much as we sometimes think.

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