The Spectator was a daily publication founded by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele in England after they met at Charterhouse School; it lasted from 1711 to 1712. Each "paper", or "number", was approximately 2,500 words long, and the original run consisted of 555 numbers, beginning on 1 March 1711. These were collected into seven volumes. The paper was revived without the involvement of Steele in 1714, appearing thrice weekly for six months, and these papers when collected formed the eighth volume. Eustace Budgell, a cousin of Addison's, also contributed to the publication.
The stated goal of The Spectator was "to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality...to bring philosophy out of the closets and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs and assemblies, at tea-tables and coffeehouses" (No. 10). It recommended that its readers "consider it part of the tea-equipage" (No. 10) and not leave the house without reading it in the morning. One of its functions was to provide readers with educated, topical talking points, and advice in how to carry on conversations and social interactions in a polite manner. In keeping with the values of Enlightenment philosophies of their time, the authors of The Spectator promoted family, marriage, and courtesy. Wikipedia.org