Simon Courtauld

The radical history of The Spectator

A newspaper – it would be more than 100 years before it became a magazine – calling itself a spectator of events, while consistently standing up for individual freedom, was bound to fall out with its readership from time to time.

In the early years, under the editorship of its Scottish founder, Robert Rintoul, The Spectator’s support for the Tolpuddle Martyrs, for the Chartists and for the abolition of slavery in the colonies did not cause too many raised eyebrows.

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