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Joseph Addison (1672-1719), Essayist and poet

Sitter in 24 portraits
Addison's first major poem, An Account of the Greatest English Poets, appeared in 1694. An active Whig supporter, he was made Under-Secretary of State in 1705 and was elected as an MP in 1708. In 1709 his friend Richard Steele founded The Tatler, which ran until 1711. Addison was one of the major contributors to this periodical. The two subsequently established The Spectator in 1711 and although the paper closed a year later it remained in demand, with hundreds of reprinted editions appearing over the next two centuries. While not primarily political journals, both papers took a reforming, progressive stance. The Spectator was revived in 1828, and has been published weekly ever since.

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Joseph Addison

after Michael Dahl
stipple engraving, (1719)
NPG D14343


Joseph Addison

by John Faber Jr, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
mezzotint, 1733 (circa 1703-1712)
NPG D19260


Joseph Addison

after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
etching, late 18th to early 19th century
NPG D27300


Joseph Addison

after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
pencil, 19th century (circa 1703-1712)