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Joseph Addison

(b. 1 May 1672, Milston, Hampshire – d. 17 Jun 1719, Holland House, Kensington, London )

Gender: M

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) was renowned as an essayist. In April 1709 his school friend, Richard Steele, founded the Tatler magazine, and Addison contributed 42 essays to it until it was discontinued in January 1711. On 1 March 1711, Addison and Steele began publication of the Spectator, a daily paper, which continued until 6 December 1712; Addison contributed 274 essays out a total of 555, and Steele wrote 236. The Spectator exercised significant influence over the reading public, with women as a particular target audience. The issues were bound into volumes and continued to be popular into the 19th century; it was particularly admired for its prose style. Addison was MP for Malmesbury from 1710-1719, and served as Secretary of State for the Southern Department from 1717-1718. In 1716 he married Charlotte, Dowager Countess of Warwick, having been her son’s tutor.