Joseph Addison (2202 words)

  • Adam James Smith (University of York)

Joseph Addison’s most significant contribution to literary history is undoubtedly his collaboration with Richard Steele on The Spectator (1711-12). Addison was also a poet and a playwright, finding success in theatres with the universally praised Cato (1713). Though a convincing polymath, Addison was most accomplished as a writer and is remembered for his criticism and commentary.

Addison was born in Milston, Wiltshire, on 1 May 1672. His parents were Lancelot Addison (1632-1703), vicar of Milston, and Jane (née Gulston) (c. 1635-1684), sister to the future Bishop of Bristol. Joseph had three younger siblings: Gulston (1673-1709), Dorothy (born 1674) and Lancelot (1680-1710). Little is known of …

Smith, Adam James. "Joseph Addison". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 October 2016
[, accessed 22 October 2016.]

Articles on Addison's works

  1. The Spectator