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The Earl of Chesterfield was no celebrator of the universal, the printed, or the public. But his private letters, written in manuscript for a single reader, eventually became a printed book that sold well and remains in print today. In the letters the earl advised his son, repetitively and exhaustively, about how to impress and influence the people around him. He attempted to affect a distant audience through the medium of his son's flawless behavior. In creating this mediated address to an absent public, Chesterfield began the process that would make him a popular author of cheap printed books.