Periodical Essay Definition and Examples

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A periodical essay is an essay (that is, a short work of nonfiction) published in a magazine or journal--in particular, an essay that appears as part of a series.

The 18th century is considered the great age of the periodical essay in English. Notable periodical essayists of the 18th century include Joseph Addison, Richard Steele , Samuel Johnson , and Oliver Goldsmith .

Observations on the Periodical Essay

"The periodical essay in Samuel Johnson's view presented general knowledge appropriate for circulation in common talk. This accomplishment had only rarely been achieved in an earlier time and now was to contribute to political harmony by introducing 'subjects to which faction had produced no diversity of sentiment such as literature, morality and family life.'"  (Marvin B. Becker, The Emergence of Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century . Indiana University Press, 1994)

The Expanded Reading Public and the Rise of the Periodical Essay

"The largely middle-class readership did not require a university education to get through the contents of  periodicals and pamphlets written in a middle style and offering instruction to people with rising social expectations. Early eighteenth-century publishers and editors recognized the existence of such an audience and found the means for satisfying its taste. . . . [A] host of periodical writers, Addison and Sir Richard Steele outstanding among them, shaped their styles and contents to satisfy these readers' tastes and interests. Magazines--those medleys of borrowed and original material and open-invitations to reader participation in publication--struck what modern critics would term a distinctly middlebrow note in literature. "The most pronounced features of the magazine were its brevity of individual items and the variety of its contents. Consequently, the essay played a significant role in such periodicals, presenting commentary on politics, religion, and social matters among its many topics ."  (Robert Donald Spector, Samuel Johnson and the Essay . Greenwood, 1997)

Characteristics of the 18th-Century Periodical Essay

"The formal properties of the periodical essay were largely defined through the practice of Joseph Addison and Steele in their two most widely read series, the "Tatler" (1709-1711) and the "Spectator" (1711-1712; 1714). Many characteristics of these two papers--the fictitious nominal proprietor, the group of fictitious contributors who offer advice and observations from their special viewpoints, the miscellaneous and constantly changing fields of discourse , the use of exemplary character sketches , letters to the editor from fictitious correspondents, and various other typical features--existed before Addison and Steele set to work, but these two wrote with such effectiveness and cultivated such attention in their readers that the writing in the Tatler and Spectator served as the models for periodical writing in the next seven or eight decades."  (James R. Kuist, "Periodical Essay." The Encyclopedia of the Essay , edited by Tracy Chevalier. Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997)

The Evolution of the Periodical Essay in the 19th Century

"By 1800 the single-essay periodical had virtually disappeared, replaced by the serial essay published in magazines and journals. Yet in many respects, the work of the early-19th-century ' familiar essayists ' reinvigorated the Addisonian essay tradition, though emphasizing eclecticism, flexibility, and experientiality. Charles Lamb , in his serial Essays of Elia (published in the London Magazine during the 1820s), intensified the self-expressiveness of the experientialist essayistic voice . Thomas De Quincey 's periodical essays blended autobiography and literary criticism , and William Hazlitt sought in his periodical essays to combine 'the literary and the conversational.'"  (Kathryn Shevelow, "Essay." Britain in the Hanoverian Age, 1714-1837 , ed. by Gerald Newman and Leslie Ellen Brown. Taylor & Francis, 1997)

Columnists and Contemporary Periodical Essays

"Writers of the popular periodical essay have in common both brevity and regularity; their essays are generally intended to fill a specific space in their publications, be it so many column inches on a feature or op-ed page or a page or two in a predictable location in a magazine. Unlike freelance essayists who can shape the article to serve the subject matter, the columnist more often shapes the subject matter to fit the restrictions of the column. In some ways this is inhibiting because it forces the writer to limit and omit material; in other ways, it is liberating, because it frees the writer from the need to worry about finding a form and lets him or her concentrate on the development of ideas."  (Robert L. Root, Jr., Working at Writing: Columnists and Critics Composing . SIU Press, 1991)

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periodical essays by joseph addison summary

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Steele and Addison: the periodical essay and the rise of the domestic novel

ABSTRACT. The Review, The Tatler and The Spectator were major events in the history of English prose writing at the beginning of the eighteenth century. These publications made the periodical essay fashionable, providing a model of writing with style for many generations to come. The three main heroes of the imagination that made this project a reality were Daniel Defoe, Richard Steele and Joseph Addison. In the present paper we address main issues related with Steele’s and Addison’s pioneering work in The Tatler (April 1709–January 1711) and The Spectator (March 1711–December 1712; 1714), in order to grasp how a project that was started mainly by the wish to bring cultural, intellectual, scientific, esthetic, social, critical and philosophical matters to the masses – usually gathering in public places such as coffee-houses and chocolate houses at the beginning of the eighteenth century (a social phenomenon that today reminds one of conventions and literary clubs) – came to have such an enormous historical significance for not only the emergence of literary journalism, but even for the rise of the British domestic novel, whose exquisite form was to be established by Samuel Richardson a few decades later, in the 1740s.

Keywords: essay; journalism; Enlightenment; imaginative literature; the Spectator Club; virtue versus vice; moderation; the short story; the domestic novel; Richardson

Preda IA (2019) Steele and Addison: the periodical essay and the rise of the domestic novel. Stroe MA, ed. Creativity 3(2): 3–27. doi:10.22381/C3220201 1-Preda Size: 2.43 MB Format: PDF Preview

IOAN AUREL PREDA Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, English Department, The University of Bucharest, Romania

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Addison and Steele Q-THE PERIODICAL ESSAY

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This was an invited paper given at the 'Inventions of the Text' seminar at Durham University in May 2018. The paper considers the relationship between empiricism and the familiar essay in the eighteenth century. It notes the emergence of scepticism, dialogue, and the idea of performative rationality as hallmarks of what might be termed a tradition of ‘socialised’, decentred empiricism that flourished in the mid-to-late eighteenth century in Britain. The essay was vital to this emergence because of the ways in which the genre drew together experience and communication, the philosophical and the social. By subordinating methodical 'dispositio' to dialogical 'complicatio', the essay offered an alternative model of order and rational thought to that implied by system. This model relied not upon a priori principle or even sensory data, but upon a blurry consensus underpinned by a mixture of doubt, dialogue and the performance of civic virtues. And yet, even as it celebrates an idea of truth that was underpinned by these activities and qualities, the familiar essay ultimately testifies to the passing of this idea.

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This article explores the development of English poetry in the eighteenth century in relation to the emergence of prose fiction, arguing for a less novel-centred perspective in eighteenth-century literary history and for a a more inclusive, media-oriented approach to the study of literary genres in general. It demonstrates how Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift respond to the challenges of a new media culture by a thematic shift towards 'urban realism' in the mock epic and mock georgic. On that basis, it then analyses Thomas Gray's Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard as a complex reflection on the role of poetry in competition with the novel in eighteenth-century print culture.

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Joseph Addison: Tercentenary Essays

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13 Nature and Imagination: The Posterity of Addison’s ‘Pleasures’ in British Enlightenment Culture

  • Published: August 2021
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This chapter explores Addison’s attempt at opening new perspectives for the convocation of the work of imagination in the production and reception of representation. Developing a new, dynamic understanding of the concept of pleasure, he explains how the works of nature and art acquire more value as they allow the imagination or the fancy some scope for the picturing and mapping of new territories. The chapter then suggests how some of the new forms of expression in Enlightenment England (the novel, the landscape garden, Hogarth’s series of images), all based on a form of sequentiality similar in many ways to that present in the periodical essays, proposed progressive, enhancing apprehensions of nature which allowed the emergence of a more dynamic, less abstract sort of beauty, designed to create pleasure in the meaning defined by Addison.

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Joseph Addison

Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, ‘Joseph Addison’, © National Portrait Gallery, NPG 3193, circa 1712.

Joseph Addison was an important theorist of sociability best known for his essays published in The Tatler (1709-1711) and The Spectator (1711-1712, 1714). His essays promoted and exemplified an ideal of polite sociability that became extremely influential in the eighteenth century and afterwards. His prose style was often emulated by later periodical essayists and his character was presented as exemplary of the polite manners that he sought to describe and defend in his works. Addison was also well known as a prominent Whig politician and his literary style exemplified Whig political ideals and practices, especially after the consolidation of Whig political hegemony after the Hanoverian accession.

People > Art and Literature

People > Politics

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) was an important theorist of English sociability in the early eighteenth century. He is best known for his contributions to the periodical essays, The Tatler (1709-1711), The Spectator (1711-1712, 1714), and The Guardian (1713), although Addison was also an accomplished poet and playwright as well as conducting a successful career as a politician. Addison composed a highly successful poem in praise of the Duke of Marlborough entitled The Campaign (1704) and the play Cato (1713), which was a surprise hit on the London stage and remained one of the most popular plays of the eighteenth century. He served as a Member of Parliament for the constituencies of Lostwithiel (1708-1709) and Malmsbury (1710-1719) and held the offices of Chief Secretary for Ireland (1708-1710; 1714-1715) and Secretary of State for the Southern Department (1717-1718). But it was his work as a periodical essayist for The Tatler and The Spectator that brought Addison his greatest acclaim both in his own life and posthumously.

Born into modest gentility as the son of the Dean of Litchfield, Lancelot Addison (1632-1703), Addison was educated first at Charterhouse School, where he met his lifelong friend and collaborator, Richard Steele , and later at Oxford University. After matriculating at Queen’s College, Addison was elected to a fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford in 1689, just after the Glorious Revolution. During his time at Magdalen, Addison befriended the ambitious young cleric, Henry Sacheverell, who would later become a highly controversial Tory preacher in Queen Anne’s reign. 1 Addison’s own politics, however, remained resolutely Whig and his political career owed much to his connections to members of the Whig Junto such as John, Baron Somers, and Charles Montagu, Lord Halifax.

  • 1 . Brian Cowan, ‘Mr. Spectator and the Doctor: Joseph Addison and Henry Sacheverell’, in Paul Davis (ed.), Joseph Addison: Tercentenary Essays (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, forthcoming).

Addison’s political affiliation remained with the Whig party throughout his life. His loyalty to the Whig cause served him well both in his lifetime as well as after his death. Addison’s political success owed less to his service as a MP or as an office holder than it did to his work in developing a Whig political ideology that was well suited to the party’s newfound position as the natural party of government after the Glorious Revolution. Addison’s writings articulated a new vision of Whig politics. He focused less on opposition to the crown and a fear of the encroachment of Popish tyranny on English liberties that had been at the heart of late seventeenth-century Whiggery and much more so on promoting moderation, trade, and sociable manners unmarred by the religious divisions that had spurred the development of the party in the age of Charles II and James II. In his periodical prose writings, Addison presented a social vision in which commercial prosperity and moderate Christianity provided the foundation for a peaceful and sociable future; this proved to be a popular foundation for a workable political consensus for the rest of the eighteenth century, and particularly after the Hanoverian accession in 1714. 2 In conjunction with the somewhat more rarified and elitist vision of his contemporary, Anthony Ashley Cooper the third Earl of Shaftesbury , Addison helped to develop the ideological foundations for a ‘culture of politeness’ that would achieve hegemony in the age of Whig oligarchy. 3

  • 2 . Lawrence Klein, ‘Joseph Addison’s Whiggism’, in David Womersley (ed.), ’Cultures of Whiggism’: New Essays on English Literature and Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century (Newark: Univ. of Delaware Press, 2005).
  • 3 . Lawrence Klein, Shaftesbury and the Culture of Politeness: Moral Discourse and Cultural Politics in Early Eighteenth-Century England (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994).

Addison promoted a vision of sociability that was urbane, polite, progressive and Whig. For these reasons, he has sometimes been misunderstood as a proponent of ‘middle class’ or ‘bourgeois’ ideology. 4  Such terms were foreign to Addison’s vocabulary, but he did believe that commerce had an important place in English society and there was little sense in Addison’s work that trade was a degrading or disgraceful activity. His social vision was nevertheless hierarchical. He supported the constitutional monarchy established after the Glorious Revolution; he cherished the social and cultural supremacy of the aristocracy and gentry and provided one of the eighteenth century’s most enduring gentry role models in the figure of his fictional character, Sir Roger de Coverley. Addison enjoined commoners to emulate their social betters, and to join them in his celebration of politeness.

Politeness is a key word in Addison’s vocabulary. He saw politeness as a form of social and cultural achievement. Politeness was social because it was based on manners, and especially the customs and mores that governed interactions between individuals and made them civilized. Politeness was cultural because it was also expressed through linguistic, visual and musical artistry. Politeness distinguished civilized people from rude, uncultured barbarism. In his periodical essays, Addison enjoined his fellow readers to embrace modern politeness in both their manners and their culture. He famously told his readers that his writings ‘shall endeavour to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality’ ( The Spectator, n° 10, 12 March 1711). Tempering savage wit was key to Addison’s polite reformation of manners. He sought to restrain the impulse towards vicious satire that had been characteristic of Restoration-era literary expression. Addison’s polite wit was designed to be complaisant. ‘Good nature is more agreeable in conversation than wit, and gives a certain air to the countenance which is more amiable than beauty’, he pronounced ( The Spectator , n° 169, 13 September 1711).

  • 4 . Edward A. Bloom and Lillian D. Bloom, Joseph Addison’s Sociable Animal: In the Marketplace, on the Hustings, in the Pulpit (Providence: Brown Univ. Press, 1971).

This pairing of pleasant entertainment and morality proved to be a successful recipe. Long after his death, Addison’s essays served as a guide for sociable behaviour and his friendly but stoic literary persona provided an example of polite sociability. Addison (or at least the Addisonian ideal) became the kind of person that others strived to emulate in the eighteenth century. He served as a role model. By the early 1760s, the young James Boswell could jest with his friends about their mutual desire to resemble Addison and Boswell confided to his journal that he ‘felt strong dispositions to be a Mr. Addison.’ 5  Addison extolled the virtues of modesty and a circumspect sociability: ‘True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one's self, and in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions’, he declared ( The Spectator , n° 15, 17 March 1711).

  • 5 . James Boswell, London Journal 1762-1763, ed. Gordon Turnbull (London: Penguin, 2010), p. 22, 23; Lawrence Klein, ‘Addisonian Afterlives: Joseph Addison in Eighteenth-Century Culture’, Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies (35:1, 2012), p. 101-118; Philip Carter, ‘James Boswell’s Manliness’ in Tim Hitchcock and Michèle Cohen (eds), English Masculinities 1660-1800 (London: Longman, 1999), p. 111-130.

With regard to his own sociable practices, Addison was well known for his friendliness, if not perhaps for his volubility, in company. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who boasted of having spent much time ‘with the wits’, recalled that ‘Addison was the best company in the world’. When looking back upon his time as a part of Addison’s London literary circle during the last years of Anne’s reign, Alexander Pope recalled that Addison regularly met ‘his party’ at Button’s Coffeehouse, and he ‘stayed five or six hours – and sometimes far into the night’.  Before he married Lady Warwick, he would breakfast with one or another of his ‘chief companions’ at his lodgings in St. James’s Place, before dining with them at Button’s or a tavern. According to Pope, ‘this was then the usual round of his life. He ate full and drank his two bottles a day’. Later in the eighteenth century, Richard Hurd, Bishop of Worcester, remarked that ‘although Addison was timid and shy in public companies, yet no man was a more interesting companion in private’. Pope noted that ‘Addison was perfect good company with intimates and had something more charming in his conversation than I ever knew in any other man. But with any mixture of strangers … he seemed to preserve his dignity much, with a stiff sort of silence’. Edward Young reiterated this impression: ‘Addison was not free with superiors, rather a mute. When he began to be in company, he was all so himself, or he went on in a noble stream of thoughts and language, and all the company were fixed in hearing him’. 6

  • 6 . Joseph Spence, Observations, Anecdotes and Characters of Books and Men, James M. Osborn (ed.), 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), 1:304; 1:77; 1:78; 1:62;, 1:333; Joseph Addison, The Works of Joseph Addison, ed. Greene, 6 vols., (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1859), 6:728.

Unlike other contemporary theorists of sociability, such as the third earl of Shaftesbury , Addison’s polite social ideal was distinctly heterosocial: he believed that interactions between men and women improved the manners of both sexes. He thought that ‘women were formed to temper Mankind, and sooth them into Tenderness and Compassion; not to set an Edge upon their Minds, and blow up in them those Passions which are too apt to rise of their own Accord’ ( The Spectator , n° 57, 5 May 1711). In this way, Addison’s sociable ideal had an important influence on later theorists of polite sociability, such as David Hume, who also believed that heterosociability was a hallmark of polite culture. 7

  • 7 . Brian Cowan, ‘Reasonable Ecstasies: Shaftesbury and the Languages of Libertinism’, Journal of British Studies (37:2, April 1998), p. 111-138.

Addison’s ideal of polite sociability is epitomized in what is perhaps his most famous sentence:  ‘It was said of Socrates, that he brought Philosophy down from Heaven, to inhabit among Men; and I shall be ambitious to have it said of me, that I have brought Philosophy out of Closets and Libraries, Schools and Colleges, to dwell in Clubs and Assemblies, at Tea-tables, and in Coffee houses.‘ ( The Spectator, n° 10, 12 March 1711 ) He imagined a society in which learning and moral improvement were widespread and sociable. Politeness should be philosophical, but it was not meant to be cloistered away in universities or monopolized by the clergy. It should prevail in cities as well as the countryside. It should be worldly but not vulgar; it should be popular but not demotic. To the contrary, it strove to bring the best of human wisdom and the most exemplary of moral precepts to everyone. It would not be the preserve of one sex, but rather would be enlivened by the sociable interactions of men and women when brought together.

This may explain why Addison chose to write periodical essays, as they were distributed regularly (six days a week) to coffeehouses and wealthy households throughout Britain. They would be read regularly by men and women throughout the British Isles. In collected form, Addison’s essays would be published as a set of volumes that would be reprinted constantly throughout the eighteenth century. In the early nineteenth century, Nathan Drake would declare that Addison and Steele were the ‘two mighty orbs’ who were the true ‘fathers and founders of Periodical Writing’, in his Essays, Biographical, Critical and Historical (1805). 8

  • 8 . Nathan Drake, Essays, Biographical, Critical and Historical (1805), 3 vols. (London, 1805), 1:23–24; Brian Cowan, ‘Periodical Literature’, in Nicholas McDowell and Henry Power (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of English Prose, 1640-1714 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, forthcoming, c. 2022).
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In the DIGIT.EN.S Anthology

Literary Theory and Criticism

Home › Literary Criticism of Joseph Addison

Literary Criticism of Joseph Addison

By NASRULLAH MAMBROL on December 17, 2017 • ( 3 )

Though he was also a poet and dramatist, Joseph Addison (1672–1719) is best known as an essayist, and indeed he contributed much to the development of the essay form, which, like the literary form of the letter, flourished in the eighteenth century. Together with his friend and colleague Richard Steele whom he had known since his schooldays, he authored a series of articles in the periodicals the Tatler (1709–1711) and the Spectator (1711–1714). It was his ambition to bring philosophical, political, and literary discussion within the reach of the middle classes. He was a politician as well as a writer, holding positions of undersecretary of state, lord lieutenant, and then chief secretary for Ireland, as well as being a member of the Whig or Liberal Party from 1708 until his death. Steele too was a political liberal, and the two men used their periodicals for literary, moral, and educational purposes. To these ends, they offered character sketches of fictional personages which commented on contemporary issues and manners, and offered satiric portraits from a broadly humanitarian and largely middle-class framework of values. The “essay” as developed by these two writers – who wrote anonymously for their periodicals – was both a personal document as well as an attempt to probe the truth of things, in a dramatic and witty manner but ultimately for the moral enlightenment of their readers. The essays were journalistic inasmuch as they addressed a cross-section of topical events and concerns, ranging from codes of conduct, fashions in dress, marriage conventions, to political propaganda. Catering as it did for an increasingly literate middle-class readership, the Tatler was immediately popular and its undoing was its involvement in political partisanship; committed to Whig or Liberal causes, it saw the downfall of the Whig Party and was increasingly attacked by the Tory press, as the Conservative Party rose to power. Only two months after its demise in January 1711, the two writers launched the Spectator, which they managed to keep free of political partisanship. This latter periodical became famous for its characterizations of fictitious personae, such as Sir Roger, Sir Andrew, and Will Honeycomb, which were conducted with a vitality and coherence that affected subsequent novelistic writing.

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Indeed, although these periodicals were addressed to the middle classes, their function was to reform the values of this class rather than merely to propagate or expound them. In the Spectator No. 6, Steele referred to his age as “a corrupt Age,” devoted to luxury, wealth, and ambition rather than to the virtues of “good-will, of Friendship, of Innocence.”1 Steele urges that people’s actions should be directed toward the public good rather than merely private interests, and that these actions should be governed by the dictates of reason, religion, and nature (Spectator, 68–70). In the Spectator there are several essays or articles dealing with specifically literary-critical issues, such as the nature of tragedy, wit, genius, the sublime, and the imagination. As far as tragedy goes, Addison and Steele advise following the precepts of Aristotle and Horace. Their general prescription is to follow nature, reason, and the practice of the ancients (Spectator, 87).

In 1711, the year in which Pope ’s Essay on Criticism attempted to distinguish between true and false wit, Addison attempted the same task in Nos. 61 and 62 of the Spectator. In the first of these, he argues that puns and quibbles are species of “false” wit; with the exception of Quintilian and Longinus, none of the ancient writers, he says, made a distinction between puns and true wit. In his second piece on wit, Addison finds Dryden ’s definition of wit as “a Propriety of Words and Thoughts adapted to the Subject” to be too broad: it could apply to all good writing, not merely to wit (Spectator, 108). He prefers John Locke’s distinction, in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding , between wit and judgment, cited above. Locke had argued that those endowed with wit and those capable of judgment are not usually the same persons, since these involve diverse procedures. Wit consists in bringing together ideas which resemble one another, with “quickness” and “variety.” Under this general procedure fall the various rhetorical tropes such as metaphor and allusion. Judgment, on the other hand, lies in separating ideas carefully, such that one idea is not mistaken for another (Essay, II, xi, 2). Addison himself adds that not every resemblance of ideas can be termed wit: the resemblance must give delight and surprise to the reader (Spectator, 105). He includes under Locke’s definition of wit not only metaphor but also similes, allegories, parables, fables, dreams, and dramatic writing. He further adds that resemblance of ideas is not the only source of wit: the opposition of ideas can also produce wit (Spectator, 110).

On the basis of Locke’s definition of wit, Addison produces a definition of false wit: whereas true wit consists in the resemblance and congruity of ideas, false wit is produced by the resemblance and congruity of single letters, as in anagrams; of syllables, as in doggerel rhymes; of words, as in puns and quibbles; and of entire sentences. Addison suggests that, in addition to true and false wit, there is a hybrid species, which he calls “mixed wit,” which consists partly in the resemblance of words and partly in the resemblance of ideas. Such mixed wit, which he finds in writers such as Cowley and Ovid (but not in Dryden , Milton, the Greeks, and most Roman authors), is a “Composition of Punn and true Wit . . . Its Foundations are laid partly in Falsehood and partly in Truth” (Spectator, 107–108). Addison cites with approval the French critic Bouhours ’ view that “it is impossible for any Thought to be beautiful which is not just, and has not its Foundation in the Nature of Things: That the Basis of all Wit is Truth; and that no thought can be valuable, of which good Sense is not the Ground-work” (Spectator, 108–109). These remarks come strikingly close to Pope’s definition of true wit as  “Nature to advantage dress’d”: both formulations ground wit in truth, the similarity here revealing the profoundly neoclassical disposition adopted by Addison. In No. 65 of the Spectator, Steele similarly states: “I shall always make Reason, Truth, and Nature the Measures of Praise and Dispraise,” urging the use of these standards rather than the “generality of Opinion” (Spectator, 111).

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However, while Addison and Steele assume a neoclassical stance in invoking absolute standards rather than public opinion, they do in later essays somewhat anticipate the more modern tendency to appeal to the collective taste of a community of readers. In No. 409 of the Spectator, Addison defines taste as “that faculty of the Soul, which discerns the Beauties of an Author with Pleasure, and the Imperfections with Dislike.” The test of whether someone possesses this faculty, he says, is to read the “celebrated Works of Antiquity” which have withstood the test of time, as well as those modern works which “have the Sanction of the Politer Part of our Contemporaries” (Spectator, 202). The person of taste will appreciate the beauties of these texts. Like Dryden , and later writers such as Arnold and Eliot, Addison appeals here to the authority of a cultured community of readers, as well as to the “timeless” principles embodied in the classics. His position appears to straddle both a classical disposition centered on the authority of the text and a modern attitude that accords the readership an integral role in the assigning of literary value. With similar ambivalence, he views the faculty of taste as “in some degree born with us,” but as capable of cultivation through exposure to refined writings, to conversation with cultured people so as to rectify the partiality of our assessment, and to the best critics of both ancient and modern times (Spectator, 203– 204). Deepening this ambivalence still further, Addison states that although in poetry the unities of time, place, and action, as well as other classical precepts, are “absolutely necessary,” he also insists that “there is still something more essential to the Art, something that elevates and astonishes the Fancy, and gives a Greatness of Mind to the Reader, which few of the Critics besides Longinus have considered” (Spectator, 204). The insistence of the appeal to fancy as more essential than merely observing the classical rules, as well as the appeal to Longinus, suggests a dissatisfaction with the view of art as a purely rational, wholly explicable process. This kind of dissatisfaction, somewhat amorphous at this transitional stage of literary-critical history, will later blossom into certain Romantic formulations of art.

Such blossoming has one of its germs in Addison’s essay in No. 411 of the Spectator on the pleasures of the imagination. Addison suggests here that our sigh  is the most perfect and delightful sense: “It fills the Mind with the largest Variety of Ideas, converses with its Objects at the greatest Distance, . . . spreads itself over an infinite Multitude of Bodies, comprehends the largest Figures, and brings into our reach some of the most remote Parts of the Universe” (Spectator, 205–206). It is the sense of sight that furnishes the imagination with its ideas. Addison defines the pleasures of imagination (a term he uses interchangeably with “fancy”) as arising “from visible Objects, either when we have them actually in our View, or when we call up their Ideas into our Minds” by various forms of art. While Addison acknowledges that there can be no image in the imagination which we do not first receive through our sight, he also points out that “we have the Power of retaining, altering and compounding those Images, which we have once received, into all the varieties of Picture and Vision that are most agreeable to the Imagination.” And through this faculty we can create scenes “more beautiful than any that can be found in the whole Compass of Nature” (Spectator, 206). These comments anticipate the formulations of many Romantic writers, suggesting as they do that we have a powerful faculty in imagination for transcending and transforming nature.

Addison obliquely anticipates Coleridge in distinguishing between the “primary pleasures” of imagination, which proceed from objects that lie before us, and “secondary pleasures” which flow from the ideas of visible objects, called up in our memories, in the absence of the objects themselves (Spectator, 206–207). Like Kant, Addison situates imagination somewhere between sense and understanding; it is higher than sense but lower than understanding. The pleasures of understanding are more “preferable” because they are based on new knowledge; yet the pleasures of imagination, Addison adds, are just “as great and as transporting”; they are also more accessible, inciting our immediate assent to beauty (Spectator, 207). Moreover, someone possessed of refined imagination “looks upon the World, as it were, in another Light, and discovers in it a multitude of Charms, that conceal themselves from the generality of Mankind” (Spectator, 207). He also points out that the pleasures of the fancy or imagination, derived from scenes of nature or art, have a healthful and restorative influence on our bodies and minds (Spectator, 208). Here we seem to reach a precarious balance between classical or neoclassical insistence on the superiority of reason and intellect and a Romantic insight into the transformative powers of imagination, a power that is potentially infinite, that can raise our insight above conventional perceptions of the world, and that can even exert a morally beneficent influence on our sensibilities.

In a second essay on imagination, in No. 412 of the Spectator, Addison deals briefly with both beauty and sublimity. The primary pleasures of imagination, he says, arise from the sight of objects that are great, uncommon, or beautiful. The first of these attributes, greatness, he defines as the “Largeness of a whole View, considered as one entire Piece,” as exemplified by vast uncultivated stretches of desert or mountain. Again, somewhat anticipating Kant, he suggests that our imagination “loves to be filled with an Object, or to grasp at anything that is too big for its Capacity.” At such unbounded views, we experience a stillness and amazement of the soul, in virtue of our hatred of confinement and our profound desire for freedom. Kant’s view will be somewhat different, but nonetheless grounded on our desire for freedom: while the immensity of nature exceeds the power of imagination, that immensity is itself comprehended by a higher power, the faculty of reason. For Addison, the pleasure in such unlimited views derives from the fact that the eye can expatiate on the immensity of its vision and lose it self amidst the Variety of Objects” (Spectator, 209). While Kant thus restrains the boundaries of imagination, subordinating this faculty to reason, Addison postulates a more Romantic attitude, almost Keatsian, whereby the perceiving subject merges with the objects of its vision.

sirrogerdecover102addi

Also Romantic is Addison’s view that we derive imaginative pleasure from whatever is new or uncommon; such novelty offers “agreeable Surprise” and gratifies our curiosity because we are “tired out with so many repeated Shows of the same Things,” and welcome “Strangeness of . . . Appearance” (Spectator, 210). We enjoy scenes that are perpetually shifting and dynamic rather than static. This insistence on novelty, strangeness, and the dynamism of nature was to be an integral element of many Romantic visions of the world. The third kind of primary pleasure of imagination is caused by beauty. Again, like Kant, and anticipating modern Romantic conceptions, Addison views the perception of beauty not in the objective terms inherited from medieval aesthetics – harmony, proportion, order – but as a process bypassing reason entirely and as governed by imagination. The effect of beauty is immediate and definite: beauty “diffuses a secret Satisfaction . . . through the Imagination . . . there are several Modifications of Matter which the Mind, without any previous Consideration, pronounces at first sight Beautiful or Deformed” (Spectator, 211). However, Addison acknowledges that there is a second kind of beauty that consists in “the Gaiety or Variety of Colours, in the Symmetry and Proportion of Parts, in the Arrangement and Disposition of Bodies, or in a just Mixture and Concurrence of all together” (Spectator, 212). What is interesting about this definition is that it preserves some of the elements of classical notions of beauty (symmetry, order, proportion) but locates these not exclusively in objects but in our subjective response, which he characterizes as a “secret Delight,” a pleasure beyond the explanatory range of reason. Finally, he points out that, while objects that are great, uncommon, or beautiful all produce pleasure, this pleasure is multiplied and intensified when these qualities merge, and when the senses on which they are based, such as sight and sound, enter the mind together.

All in all, the views of Addison and Steele express an interesting combination of neoclassical values with dispositions that, in their more sustained treatment by later writers, will be articulated into elements of a Romantic vision of the world and the human self. Addressing themselves to a broad middle-class public immersed in the materialist and pragmatist ideologies of bourgeois thought, their insistence on classical values might be seen as part of their endeavor to cultivate the moral, religious, and literary sensibilities of this class; they were nonetheless obliged, however, to accommodate the more recent attitudes toward beauty and the imagination, attitudes gesturing in the direction of Romanticism , which equally undermined the conventional values of this political class.

Notes 1. Addison and Steele, Selections from the Tatler and the Spectator, ed. Robert J. Allen (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1961), pp. 67–68. Hereafter cited as Spectator.

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"[The Spectator] Issue 1, Thursday, March 1, 1711" By Joseph Addison

Editorial statements.

Research informing these annotations draws on publicly-accessible resources, with links provided where possible. Annotations have also included common knowledge, defined as information that can be found in multiple reliable sources. If you notice an error in these annotations, please contact [email protected].

Original spelling and capitalization is retained, though the long s has been silently modernized and ligatured forms are not encoded.

Hyphenation has not been retained, except where necessary for the sense of the word.

Page breaks have been retained. Catchwords, signatures, and running headers have not. Where pages break in the middle of a word, the complete word has been indicated prior to the page beginning.

Materials have been transcribed from and checked against first editions, where possible. See the Sources section.

Linked Data: Persons related to this work.

graphic

I HAVE observed, that a Reader seldom peruses a Book with Pleasure 'till he knows whether the Writer of it be a black or a fair Man black black Dark or light skinned. , of a mild or cholerick Disposition cholerick cholerick A relaxed or angry disposition. , Married or a Batchelor, with other Particulars of the like nature, that conduce conduce conduce Contribute to. very much to the right Understanding of an Author. To gratify this Curiosity, which is so natural to a Reader, I design this Paper, and my next, as Prefatory prefatory prefatory introductory. Discourses to my following Writings, and shall give some Account in them of the several persons that are engaged in this Work. As the chief trouble of Compiling, Digesting, and Correcting will fall to my Share, I must do myself the Justice to open the Work with my own History.

I was born to a small Hereditary Estate, which according to the tradition of the village where it lies, was bounded by the same Hedges and Ditches in William the Conqueror's William William The Norman warlord who defeated the English king Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and became William I. Time that it is at present, and has been delivered down from Father to Son whole and entire, without the Loss or Acquisition of a single Field or Meadow, during the Space of six hundred Years. There runs a Story in the Family, that when my Mother was gone with Child of me about three Months, she dreamt that she was brought to Bed of a Judge. Whether this might proceed from a Law-suit which was then depending in the Family, or my Fathers being a Justice of the Peace, I cannot determine; for I am not so vain as to think it presaged presaged presaged Predict or foretell. any Dignity that I should arrive at in my future Life, though that was the Interpretation the Neighbourhood put upon it. The Gravity of my Behaviour at my very first Appearance in the World, and all the Time that I sucked sucked sucked breastfed , seemed to favour my Mothers Dream: For, as she has often told me, I threw away my Rattle before I was two Months old, and would that was the Interpretation which the Neighbourhood put upon not make use of my Coral coral coral That is, his teething ring; these were often made of coral in this period. till they had taken away the Bells from it.

As for the rest of my Infancy, there being nothing in it remarkable, I shall pass it over in Silence. I find that, during my Nonage nonage nonage Youth or childhood. Source: Oxford English Dictionary , I had the reputation of a very sullen Youth, but was always a Favourite of my School-master, who used to say, that my parts parts parts Characteristics or elements of a person. were solid and would wear well. I had not been long at the University, before I distinguished myself by a most profound Silence: For, during the Space of eight Years, excepting in the publick Exercises of the College, I scarce uttered the Quantity of an hundred Words; and indeed do not remember that I ever spoke three Sentences together in my whole Life. Whilst I was in this Learned Body, I applied myself with so much Diligence to my Studies, that there are very few celebrated Books, either in the Learned or the Modern Tongues, which I am not acquainted with.

Upon the Death of my Father I was resolved to travel into Foreign Countries, and therefore left the University, with the Character of an odd unaccountable Fellow, that had a great deal of Learning, if I would but show it. An insatiable Thirst after Knowledge carried me into all the Countries of Europe, in which there was any thing new or strange to be seen; nay, to such a Degree was my curiosity raised, that having read the controversies of some great Men concerning the Antiquities of Egypt , I made a Voyage to Grand Cairo , on purpose to take the Measure of a Pyramid; and, as soon as I had set my self right in that Particular, returned to my Native Country with great Satisfaction.

I have passed my latter Years in this City, where I am frequently seen in most publick Places, tho there are not above half a dozen of my select Friends that know me; of whom my next Paper shall give a more particular Account. There is no place of general Resort wherein I do not often make my appearance; sometimes I am seen thrusting my Head into a Round of Politicians at Wills wills wills Wills was a popular coffee shop. Coffee-drinking was comparatively new to England, havinug arrived as a practice, probably from Turkey, a few decades before. But coffee shops were everywhere in London in the early eighteenth century, becoming popular places for men (and they were almost-always male dominated domains) to socialize while they satisfied their cravings for caffeine and (since smoking pipes was also popular) nicotine. Over the next few lines, Mr. Spectator names several of the most popular coffee shops in central London at the time. , and listening with great Attention to the Narratives that are made in those little Circular Audiences. Sometimes I smoak a Pipe at Childs ; and, while I seem attentive to nothing but the Post-man post-man post-man one of the daily newspapers in London at that time , over-hear the Conversation of every Table in the Room. I appear on Sunday nights at St. James's Coffee House, and sometimes join the little Committee of Politicks in the Inner-Room, as one who comes there to hear and improve. My Face is likewise very well known at the Grecian , the Cocoa-Tree , and in the Theaters both of Drury Lane and the Hay-Market theatres theatres The theaters on Drury Lane and the Hay-Market were the two state-licensed playhouses in central London. As Mr. Spectator implies here, theaters were as much places to be seen by others as to see a play; they were intensely social spaces, where theatergoers enjoyed the spectacle of other audience members almost as much--and sometimes more--than they enjoyed the performances on the stage. . I have been taken for a Merchant Verso upon the Exchange for above these ten Years, and sometimes pass for a Jew in the Assembly of Stock-Jobbers stock-jobbers stock-jobbers stockbrokers, but the sense here is more pejorative than the word is today; selling stock in private companies was comparatively new, and looked at with suspicion by some at Jonathans . In short, where-ever I see a Cluster of People, I always mix with them, tho I never open my Lips but in my own Club.

Thus I live in the World, rather as a Spectator of Mankind, than as one of the Species; by which means I have made my self a Speculative Statesman, Soldier, Merchant, and Artizan, without ever medling with any Practical Part in Life. I am very well versed in the Theory of an Husband, or a Father, and can discern the Errors in the Oeconomy, Business, and Diversion of others, better than those who are engaged in them; as Standers-by discover Blots blots blots Exposed pieces in a game like backgammon, checkers, or chess. Source: Oxford English Dictionary , which are apt to escape those who are in the Game. I never espoused any Party with Violence, and am resolved to observe an exact Neutrality between the Whigs and Tories politics politics The Whigs and the Tories were the two main political factions of the day. The Spectator positioned itself as a neutral journal, and part of the reason why Addison and Steele tried to stay anonymous was to keep up that pretense, since they were both well known to be Whigs. , unless I shall be forcd to declare myself by the Hostilities of either side. In short, I have acted in all the parts of my Life as a Looker-on, which is the Character character character Addison is punning here on the sense of character as personal identity and character as a printed mark on a page. I intend to preserve in this Paper.

I have given the Reader just so much of my History and Character, as to let him see I am not altogether unqualified for the Business I have undertaken. As for other Particulars in my Life and Adventures, I shall insert them in following Papers, as I shall see occasion. In the mean time, when I consider how much I have seen, read, and heard, I begin to blame my own Taciturnity taciturnity taciturnity silence ; and since I have neither Time nor Inclination to communicate the Fulness of my Heart in Speech, I am resolved to do it in Writing; and to Print my self out, if possible, before I Die. I have been often told by my Friends that it is Pity so many useful Discoveries which I have made, should be in the possession of a Silent Man. For this Reason therefore, I shall publish a Sheet full of Thoughts every Morning, for the Benefit of my Contemporaries; and if I can any way contribute to the Diversion or Improvement of the Country in which I live, I shall leave it, when I am summoned out of it, with the secret Satisfaction of thinking that I have not Lived in vain.

There are three very material Points which I have not spoken to in this Paper, and which, for several important Reasons, I must keep to my self; at least for some Time: I mean, an Account of my Name, my Age, and my Lodgings. I must confess I would gratify my Reader in any thing that is reasonable; but as for these three Particulars, though I am sensible they might tend very much to the Embellishment of my Paper, I cannot yet come to a Resolution of communicating them to the Publick. They would indeed draw me out of that Obscurity which I have enjoyed for many Years, and expose me in Publick Places to several Salutes and Civilities, which have been always very disagreeable to me; for the greatest pain I can suffer, is the being talked to, and being stared at. It is for this Reason likewise, that I keep my Complexion and Dress, as very great Secrets; tho it is not impossible, but I may make Discoveries of both in the Progress of the Work I have undertaken.

After having been thus particular upon my self; I shall in tomorrows Paper give an Account of those Gentlemen who are concerned with me in this Work. For, as I have before intimated intimated intimated shared confidentially , a Plan of it is laid and concerted concerted concerted arranged or contrived by two or more people working "in consert" (as all other Matters of Importance are) in a Club. However, as my Friends have engaged me to stand in the Front, those who have a mind to correspond with me, may direct their Letters To the Spectator , at Mr. Buckleys , in Little Britain . For I must further acquaint the Reader, that tho our Club meets only on Tuesdays and Thursdays , we have appointed a Committee to sit every Night, for the Inspection of all such Papers as may contribute to the Advancement of the Public Weal weal weal welfare and happiness .

C. clio clio Addison identified the essays that he wrote with the letters C, L, I, or O, which collectively spell out Clio, the muse of history.

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Joseph Addison is known mostly for his periodical, "The Spectator", written with his friend Richard Steele. But he found time to write a few plays - with and without Steele (Cato is without) - before being elevated to Secretary of State and putting drama aside. This play was supposedly staged by George Washington after the winter of 1778 at Valley Forge as an inspiration to his officers on self-sacrificing republican virtues. Many quotes of American revolution leaders - Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or Give me death" and Nathan Hale's "I only regret I have but one life to lose for my country" - are drawn from this play. - Summary by ToddHW Cast list: Cato: Greg Giordano Portius: Adrian Stephens Marcus: Tomas Peter Sempronius: Inkell Juba: Jim Locke Syphax: Cavaet Lucius: Alan Mapstone Decius: Kerry Adams Lucia: Sonia Marcia: Anna Maria 1st Leader of the Mutiny: David Purdy Stage Directions and Editing: ToddHW

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The Spectator; essays I.-L. [by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele] With an introd. and notes by John Morrison

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Joseph addison mcqs [english literature & famous authors].

Jopesh Addision Basic info

Collection of important MCQs on Joseph Addison

Thus I live in the world, rather as a spectator of mankind than as one of the species.” This line is taken from which of the following  essay?

(A) Sir Roger in Town

(B) The Aim of the Spectator

(C) Rural Manners

(D) The Spectator’s Account of Himself

Question’s Answer: The Spectator’s Account of Himself

Addison’s the Drummer is _________ .

(A) A moral comedy

(B) A tragedy

(C) A satirical play

(D) A prose romance

Question’s Answer: A moral comedy

What is the Richard Steele’s “The Conscious Lovers “?

(A) A long poem

(C) A Satire in verse

Question’s Answer: A play

Jopesh Addision Books names

Who was the co-author of Addison writing The Coverley Papers?

(A) Dr. Johnson

(B) Abraham Cowley

(C) Daniel Defoe

(D) Richard Steele

Question’s Answer: Richard Steele

Addison’s Rosamond is:

(B) A satire

(D) A romance

“His irony and urbanity are the two most prominant traits in the essays of Addison.”

Who has that opinion?

(A) Macaulay

(B) Deighton

(D) Dr. Johnson

Question’s Answer: Lobban

The success of the Spectator was immediate and permanent.” Whose view is this?

(A) Thackeray

(D) Hugh Walker

Question’s Answer: Deighton

The Tatler was started by:

(A) Addison

(B) Jointly by Addison and Steele

Question’s Answer: Steele

“Addison almost created and perfected English Periodical Essay as an instrument for

the expression of social thought.” Whose view is this?

(A) J.H. Fowler

(B) Courthope

(C) Deighton

Question’s Answer: Courthope

Who is the Addison’s Cato?

(A) A comedy

(B) A long prose work

(C) A romance

(D) A tragedy

Question’s Answer: A tragedy

“Addison almost created and perfected English prose as an instrument for the of social thought.” Who has that opinion?

(A) Deighton

(C) Courthope

Which characters in the Coverley Papers is a merchant of great eminence in the city of London?

(A) Lord Rochestor

(B) Will Honeycomb

(C) Captain Sentry

(D) Sir Andrew Freeport

Question’s Answer: Sir Andrew Freeport

In which year was Addison elected as a member of Parliament ?

Question’s Answer: 1706

Addison’s The Campaign is:

(A) A Romance

(D) A Critical Treatise

Question’s Answer: A Poem

“A reader seldom peruses a book with pleasure till he knows whether the writer of it be a black or a fair one.” Which essay begins with this observation?

(A) Sir Roger at Home

(B) Sir Roger at Church

(C) The Coverley Household

Which characters represents the class of Gallantry?

(A) Sir Andrew Freeport

(B) Captain Sentry

(C) Will Wimble

(D) Will Honeycomb

Question’s Answer: Will Honeycomb

“The most perfect gift that fitted Addison was his sense of humour.” Who has that opinion?

(B) Macaulay

(D) Cazamian

In which year was Addison born?

Question’s Answer: 1672

Which series of essays started the vogue of journalistic literature?

(A) The Spectator

(B) The Tatler

(C) The Guardian

(D) The Rambler

Question’s Answer: The Tatler

In which literary Age did Addison write his Essays?

(A) Elizabethan Age

(B) Restoration Age

(C) Romantic Age

(D) Neo-classical Age

Question’s Answer: Neo-classical Age

The West Indian and The Fashionable Lover are two plays by which of the following?

(a) Addison

(d) None of these

Question’s Answer: Addison

Which work of Addison offers an excellent example of the rhetoric and fine sentiment, which are essentials of good writing?

(b) Spectator

(d) Account of the Greatest English Poets

Question’s Answer: Cato

According to_____, “Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.”

(a) Dr. Johnson

(b) William Hazlitt (English essayist)

(c) Richard Steele

(d) Jonathon Dr Jonathan Swift

Account of the Greatest English Poets was the creation of which of the following author?

(d) Dr Jonathan Swift

The Vision of Mirza is a political allegory by which of the following?

(b) Dr Jonathan Swift

(c) Addison

Addison’s The Drummer is

(a) An opera

(b) A masque

(c) A prose-comedy

(d) A tragedy

“I shall endeavour to enlighten morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality.” Identify the

personality.

(d) Addison

Joseph Addison books names

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  1. Periodical Essay by Joseph Addison

    Joseph Addison and Richard Steele began the trend of periodical magazines and journals in the 18th century. In 1709, Steele began publishing The Tatler which...

  2. Joseph Addison Analysis

    By connecting ideas scattered throughout the periodical essays, the Blooms systematize Addison's economic, political, and religious thinking. Bond, Richmond P. The Tatler: The Making of a Journal .

  3. The Spectator Summary

    The Spectator Summary. T he Spectator was a periodical published in London from 1711 to 1712 and written by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele.. The Spectator contained articles and comments about ...

  4. Joseph Addison summary

    Joseph Addison, (born May 1, 1672, Milston, Wiltshire, Eng.—died June 17, 1719, London), English essayist, poet, and dramatist.His poem on the Battle of Blenheim, The Campaign (1705), brought him to the attention of leading Whigs and paved the way to important government posts (including secretary of state) and literary fame. With Richard Steele, he was a leading contributor to and guiding ...

  5. Periodical Essay Definition and Examples

    A periodical essay is an essay (that is, a short work of nonfiction) published in a magazine or journal--in particular, an essay that appears as part of a series. The 18th century is considered the great age of the periodical essay in English. Notable periodical essayists of the 18th century include Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, Samuel ...

  6. The Spectator

    The Spectator, a periodical published in London by the essayists Sir Richard Steele and Joseph Addison from March 1, 1711, to Dec. 6, 1712 (appearing daily), and subsequently revived by Addison in 1714 (for 80 numbers). It succeeded The Tatler, which Steele had launched in 1709. In its aim to "enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality," The Spectator adopted a fictional ...

  7. Sociability and Polite Improvement in Addison's Periodicals

    This chapter begins by exploring Addison's ideas about sociability, especially in what was for him its ideal condition—in the coffee house. 4 By reading his periodical essays, mostly in The Spectator, but also The Tatler, the chapter explores Addison's construction of coffee-house sociability as especially, if not uniquely, polite, rational, and civic.

  8. The Spectator

    The Spectator. by Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele. THE LITERARY WORK. A series of periodical essays published in London from 1711 to 1714. SYNOPSIS. The Spectator ostensibly records the activities of the Spectator Club, which is made up of several fictional characters, each representing a distinct segment of society. Through the eyes of Mr. Spectator, a shy observer of the others and of ...

  9. Steele and Addison: the periodical essay and the rise of the domestic novel

    These publications made the periodical essay fashionable, providing a model of writing with style for many generations to come. The three main heroes of the imagination that made this project a reality were Daniel Defoe, Richard Steele and Joseph Addison. In the present paper we address main issues related with Steele's and Addison's ...

  10. Addison and Steele Q-THE PERIODICAL ESSAY

    Joseph Addison (1672-1719) and Richard Steele (1672-1729) are the founders of the modern English essay as well as modern English prose. Both Steele and Addison aimed at easy and free flowing expression and that was the style the 18 th century needed with the expansion of England's trade and industry.

  11. Joseph Addison

    Joseph Addison (born May 1, 1672, Milston, Wiltshire, England—died June 17, 1719, London) was an English essayist, poet, and dramatist, who, with Richard Steele, was a leading contributor to and guiding spirit of the periodicals The Tatler and The Spectator. His writing skill led to his holding important posts in government while the Whigs ...

  12. Nature and Imagination: The Posterity of Addison's 'Pleasures' in

    All the great minds of the century celebrated the periodical, and many were inspired by it. The Spectator, together with the two other journals by Addison and Steele, The Tatler which preceded it (1709-11) and The Guardian which followed (1713), gave rise to one of the most idiomatic genres in British literature, that of the intellectual essay, taken up most famously later in the century by ...

  13. The eighteenth-century periodical essay (Chapter 20)

    Summary. Despite deep roots in literary tradition and a far-reaching influence, the periodical essay is a genre that flourished only in a fifty-year period between 1709 and 1759. ... The periodical essay is proper to a certain phase of periodical publication, which got its start in England during the Civil War but was not fully established ...

  14. Joseph Addison

    Joseph Addison (1672-1719) was an important theorist of English sociability in the early eighteenth century. He is best known for his contributions to the periodical essays, The Tatler (1709-1711), The Spectator (1711-1712, 1714), and The Guardian (1713), although Addison was also an accomplished poet and playwright as well as conducting a successful career as a politician.

  15. Literary Criticism of Joseph Addison

    In 1711, the year in which Pope's Essay on Criticism attempted to distinguish between true and false wit, Addison attempted the same task in Nos. 61 and 62 of the Spectator. In the first of these, he argues that puns and quibbles are species of "false" wit; with the exception of Quintilian and Longinus, none of the ancient writers, he says, made a distinction between puns and true wit.

  16. Essays of Joseph Addison;

    Essays of Joseph Addison; by Addison, Joseph, 1672-1719. Publication date 1880 Publisher London and New York, The Roger de Coverley Club Collection cornell; americana Contributor Cornell University Library Language English. The metadata below describe the original scanning. Follow the "All Files: HTTP" link in the "View the book" box to the ...

  17. "The Spectator" by Joseph Addison: Analysis and Summary

    As a satirist, Addison uses a typical ignorant man who is an imbecile caught up in his normal affairs and a society that is just as ignorant as he is. Joseph Addison's satiric purpose is served when all read the diary of a foolish man and the bland society he lives in and know the petty issues they concern themselves with. Both the diarist ...

  18. Literature in Context

    A collaboration between Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, The Spectator was for a long time after its initial run in 1711 and 1712 held up to English students and readers as a model of prose style, and although to our eyes there are moments where the prose feels a little archaic, Addison and Steele's version of English prose is much closer to ...

  19. PDF Essays of Joseph Addison;

    ji CONTENTS. PAQI TomFolio 126 TheManoftheTown 130 TheTrunk-makeratthePlay 134 CofiEee-HousePoliticians 139 LondonCries 144 TheCat-Call 149 TheNewspaper 154 Coffee-HouseDebates 159 TheVisionofPublicCredit 163 TALESANDALLEGORIES 167 TheVisionsofMirzah 169 TheTaleofIVIarraton ' 175 TheGoldenScales 181 HilpaandShalum 186 TheVisionofJustice, 193 THECOURTOFHONOR 305 InstitutionoftheCourt 207

  20. Summarize "Meditation in Westminster Abbey" by Joseph Addison

    How does the poem "Hope" by Joseph Addison present the idea of a child? What social aspects did Joseph Addison explore in his periodical essays? Analyze Joseph Addison's "Pleasures of the ...

  21. Joseph Addison

    This video is a lecture on Joseph Addison's Essay No. 124 from the Periodical - THE SPECTATOR UGC Exams - NET, JRFMasters in English Honours in English Bache...

  22. ‎Cato by Joseph Addison on Apple Podcasts

    Joseph Addison is known mostly for his periodical, "The Spectator", written with his friend Richard Steele. But he found time to write a few plays - with and without Steele (Cato is without) - before being elevated to Secretary of State and putting drama aside. This play was supposedly staged by G…

  23. The Spectator; essays I.-L. [by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele] With

    The Spectator; essays I.-L. [by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele] With an introd. and notes by John Morrison Bookreader Item Preview ... Addison, Joseph, 1672-1719; Steele, Richard, Sir, 1672-1729; Morrison, John Call number ABU-8936 Camera 1Ds External-identifier urn:oclc:record:670190168 ...

  24. Joseph Addison MCQs [English Literature & Famous Authors]

    Question's Answer: Deighton. The Tatler was started by: (A) Addison. (B) Jointly by Addison and Steele. (C) Steele. (D) Cowley. Question's Answer: Steele. "Addison almost created and perfected English Periodical Essay as an instrument for. the expression of social thought.".