Sir Richard Steele(1672-1729), Dramatist and essayist
Sitter in 33 portraits
Sir Richard Steele was born in Dublin. After a brief period as a captain in the army, he moved to London where he became a dramatist and an essayist, noted for his contributions to The Tatler (1709-11) and The Spectator (1711-12), which he co-founded with Joseph Addison. In 1705 Steele married Margaret Stretch, a widow from Barbados whose estates included sugar plantations worked on by enslaved Africans. Just over a year later, she died and Steele inherited her fortune. At this time Steele was a prominent member of the Kit-Cat Club and he later became a Whig politician. Although a successful playwright, his most significant contribution was probably to the print industry through his introduction of mass printing and distribution techniques.
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