Joseph Addison

1672-1719

Joseph Addison was a prominent literary figure in the late Stuart and early Georgian period. Addison was a prolific essayist as well as a politician. His political career never hit the heights of his literary efforts, however, and he only managed to hold a succession of fairly minor posts in government.

On the literary front, however, Addison's name rose to the heights. From 1709-11 he contributed numerous essays to The Tattler, published by Richard Steele. In 1711 the two men collaborated to found The Spectator.

Using the newspaper as a soapbox for his Whig political views, Addison was a powerful voice in defending the government's handling of the War of the Spansh Succession. He also championed the cause of Hanoverian succession following the death of Queen Anne. Under his leadership The Spectator was the first truly influential newspaper.

Time period(s): Stuart Georgian

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