Joseph Addison

Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to Joseph Addison: Richard Steele
Joseph Addison
BirthplaceMilston, Wiltshire
Writer and politician

Addison, Joseph,

1672–1719, English essayist, poet, and statesman. He was educated at Charterhouse, where he was a classmate of Richard Steele, and at Oxford, where he became a distinguished classical scholar. His travels on the Continent from 1699 to 1703 were recorded in Remarks on Italy (1705). Addison first achieved prominence with The Campaign (1704), an epic celebrating the victory of Marlborough at Blenheim. The poem was commissioned by Lord Halifax, and its great success resulted in Addison's appointment in 1705 as undersecretary of state and in 1709 as secretary to the lord lieutenant of Ireland. He also held a seat in Parliament from 1708 until his death. Addison's most enduring fame was achieved as an essayist. In 1710 he began his contributions to the Tatler, which Richard SteeleSteele, Sir Richard,
1672–1729, English essayist and playwright, b. Dublin. After studying at Charterhouse and Oxford, he entered the army in 1694 and rose to the rank of captain by 1700. His first book, a moral tract entitled The Christian Hero, appeared in 1701.
..... Click the link for more information.
 had founded in 1709. He continued to write for successive publications, including the SpectatorSpectator,
English daily periodical published jointly by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele with occasional contributions from other writers. It succeeded the Tatler, a periodical begun by Steele on Apr. 12, 1709, under the pseudonym Isaac Bickerstaff.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (1711–12), the Guardian (1713), and the new Spectator (1714). His contributions to these periodicals raised the English essay to a degree of technical perfection never before achieved and perhaps never since surpassed. In a prose style marked by simplicity, order, and precision, he sought to engage men's thoughts toward reason, moderation, and a harmonious life. His works also include an opera libretto, Rosamund (1707); a prose comedy, The Drummer (1716); and a neoclassical tragedy, Cato (1713), which had an immense success in its own time, but has since been regarded as artificial and sententious. In his last years Addison received his greatest prominence. In 1717 he was made secretary of state, an office he resigned the following year. But the period (1714–19) was also marked by failing health, a supposedly unhappy marriage, and the severing of his relations with his good friend Richard Steele.


See biography by P. H. B. O. Smithers (1954, repr. 1968).

References in periodicals archive ?
Uncle Remus is entirely benevolent, a saccharine figure comforting to descendants of the folks who owned him; "A Story of the War" marries the Yankee soldier to the Southern belle in a sentimental romance of intersectional harmony; On the Plantation is dedicated to "philanthropist" plantation owner Joseph Addison Turner.
Joseph Addison spent the best years of his life at Bilton Hall from 1711 until his death.
With his friend and collaborator, Joseph Addison, Sir Richard Steele began magazine writing in London.
He does so through careful examination of critical pronouncements by such figures as John Dennis, Joseph Addison, and Richard Blackmore, who attempted to articulate rationales for a language of feeling that supplies Irlam's strongest unifying concept, as he investigates its justification and its instantiation in the poetry of Young and Thomson.
I have often thought," wrote Joseph Addison in The Tatler, "it happens very well that Christmas should fall out in the middle of winter.
Joseph Addison, an 18th-century essayist, made the following observation: "Man is subject to innumerable pains and sorrows by the very condition of humanity, and, yet, as if nature had not sown evils enough in life, we are continually adding grief to grief and aggravating the common calamity by our cruel treatment of one another.
The final edition of the Index featured some 4,000 works, many of them deservedly obscure and banned for doctrinal reasons, but many of them some of the greatest prose compositions in history: Michel de Montaigne's Essais, Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, the travel books of Laurence Sterne and Joseph Addison, John Milton's State Papers, Daniel Defoe's History of the Devil, Edward Gibbon's immense and wonderful Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and the complete works of Emile Zola.
Among earlier writers are Joseph Addison, Ambrose Bierce, Daniel Defoe, Karl Marx, and Thomas Paine.
Yellin (both of whom are Fellows at Liberty Fund), Cato: A Tragedy, And Selected Essays is a compilation of the writings of Joseph Addison, beginning with his "Cato: A Tragedy" which is an account of the final hours of Marcus Porcius Cato (95-46 B.
Joseph Addison, who founded The Spectator in 1711, lived in Bilton, and Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer, the Astronomer Royal who discovered helium was born here.
There is no evidence for separate women's libraries and even the idea of a lady's library, decorated and stocked without male guidance, was enough to launch Joseph Addison in The Spectator, one of the most influential publications in Anglo-America, upon a cutting and mysogynistic commentary on female intelligence, taste, diversion, and use-fulness.
Famous past occupants include one of the 18th century's leading intellectuals, Joseph Addison, poet, essayist and politician.