The Lucubrations of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.


The Lucubrations of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq. was a third volume of the Tatler published by R. Gofling and M. Nutt of London in 1720. The Tatler was originally published three times a week from 1709-1711, and featured accounts of gallantry, entertainment, pleasure, poetry, and foreign and domestic news written in a jovial manner. The Tatler was written by Richard Steele, Joseph Addison, and occasionally Jonathan Swift, who used the nom de plume Isaac Bickerstaff as part of a hoax poking fun at the astrologer John Partridge.

The Copp Collection contains about 150 books of early American imprint and shows a wide range of reading matter typical of a New England Puritan family living in a port town. Literacy was expected of many New Englanders, as Puritan doctrine required everyone to read the Bible. The abundance of multiple Bibles, psalms, hymnodies, sermons, and morality tales reflects the Copp’s religious beliefs. Other highlights of the library include the works of Shakespeare, almanacs, historical and political texts, and travel narratives.

The Copp Collection contains a variety of household objects that the Copp family of Connecticut used from around 1700 until the mid-1800s. Part of the Puritan Great Migration from England to Boston, the family eventually made their home in New London County, Connecticut, where their textiles, clothes, utensils, ceramics, books, bibles, and letters provide a vivid picture of daily life. More of the collection from the Division of Home and Community Life can be viewed by searching accession number 28810.

Date Made: 1720-1730Associated Date: 1720

Maker: Tattler, Addison

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United Kingdom: England, London

See more items in: Home and Community Life: Domestic Life, Cultures & Communities, Copp Collection


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of John Brenton Copp

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: DL.006868.016Catalog Number: 006868.016Accession Number: 28810

Object Name: book

Physical Description: paper (overall material)Measurements: overall: 1 1/8 in x 3 7/8 in x 6 1/2 in; 2.8575 cm x 9.8425 cm x 16.51 cm


Record Id: nmah_319555

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.