© National Portrait Gallery, London
by Jacobus Houbraken, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt Click on the links below to find out more
line engraving, published 1748
- Joseph Addison (1672-1719), Essayist and poet. Sitter in 24 portraits.
- Jacobus Houbraken (1698-1780), Engraver. Artist associated with 433 portraits.
- Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (1646-1723), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 1679 portraits, Sitter associated with 30 portraits.
This engraving includes pictorial attributes that point to Addison's career as a playwright and poet. The small scene in the roundel depicts the mythical horse Pegasus, sometimes regarded as a symbol for poetic genius.
In his role as magistrate, Henry Fielding organises the forerunner of the Bow Street Runners, effectively London's first police force. Fire in the City of London causes over a million pounds worth of damage.
Art and science
Tobias Smollett publishes The Adventures of Roderick Random
.Samuel Richardson publishes Clarissa
; the longest novel in the English language.Philosopher David Hume publishes An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding
.Physician John Fothergill's pamphlet Account of the Sore Throat attended with Ulcers
contains the first description of diphtheria.
Ancient Roman city of Pompeii is rediscovered near Naples, further fuelling a resurgence of interest in the antique among British collectors such as the diplomat Sir William Hamilton. Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle ends the War of the Austrian Succession.French writer Montesquieu anonymously publishes his influential treatise on political theory L'Esprit des Lois
(The Spirit of the Laws).