Sir Richard Steele (2138 words)

  • Adam James Smith (York St John University)

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Sir Richard Steele’s most significant contributions to literary history are his innovations of the periodical essay form in such publications as The Tatler (1709-1711) and his famous collaboration with Joseph Addison on The Spectator (1711-12). He was also a political writer and life-long advocate of theatre, working as a playwright, theatre-critic and theatre manager.

Steele was baptised in St Bride’s parish, Dublin, on 12 March 1672. His parents were Richard Steele, an attorney, and Elinor Symes, née Sheyles. Steele was their second child, younger sibling to his sister Katherine, born the previous year. The family were protestant gentry thanks to the success of Steele’s paternal …

Smith, Adam James. "Sir Richard Steele". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 April 2017
[, accessed 24 April 2017.]

Articles on Steele's works

  1. The Spectator
  2. The Tatler

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