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Joseph Addison was an English essayist, poet, and dramatist. He was also a politician.

In writings of Joseph Addison we find the pleasant reflection of English society of his period. If a person selects any feature of that life, he will find some account of it in Joseph Addisons paper or writings. Addison Along with his friend Richard Steele was the founder, chief contributor and the guiding spirit of two periodical magazines. They were The Tatler and the The Spectator. For his writing skill, he gradually rose to the higher office of government. He was made one of the principal secretaries of state.

Life of Joseph Addison:


Joseph Addison was born on the 1st of May 1672 at Milston, Wiltshire, England. His fathers name is Rev. Lancelot Addison. Lancelot Addison an eminent clergyman of the Church of England. He was also author of Devotional Poems. He was appointed the Dean of Lichfield. On that time Addison family moved into the cathedral close. His educational life started at Lichfield. And afterwards he was educated at Charterhouse School. There he met Richard Steele After a preliminary education at various schools Addison entered into Queen's College, Oxford in 1687. He was only fifteen years old on that time. After two years he was transferred to Magdalen, where he was graduated in 1691 and took M.A in1693. At first he was a commoner of Queen's College, but he was given a scholarship at Magdalen for his extraordinary classical attainments. He was specially noted for his Latin verse, and became a Fellow of Magdalen College. . He

distinguished himself while at college for his shyness and his scholarship. He won a reputation which extended beyond Oxford for his Latin verses. He was originally intended for the church, but for various circumstances he was diverted from his original intention. He gave himself to the study of law and politics. In 1699, he received a pension of 300 a year which allowed him to make the grand tour, a series of visits to the main European capitals. On that time he was twentyeighth years old. He went this tour to perfect his education for political life & the education of the 18thcentury gentleman. He started his journey from France. There he spent half year. His chief purpose was to learn French language. He studied French language at Blois. In Paris Addison mixed with distinguished man of letters, and meeting among others, philosopher Malebranche and the critic Boileau. He remained in France till the end of the year 1700. After spending half year in France he went to Italy. He stayed in Italy for one year. One record of his travels is his long poem Letter from Italy. He spent several years in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. In Switzerland, on his way home, he was stopped by receiving notice that he was to attend the army under Prince Eugene, and then engaged in the war in Italy, as secretary from the king. After staying several months in Holland, Addison returned to England toward the end of 1703. For more than a year he remained without employment. The Battle of Blenheim in 1704 gave him a fresh opportunity to reappoint himself. He wrote The

Campaign to celebrate Marlborough's victory at Blenheim, August 1704. Lord Godolphin, the Whig Prime Minister was so excessively delighted with the first half of the triumphal poem that before the rest was finished, he made Addison Commissioner of Appeals. Addison was now fairly involved in politics. He accompanied Halifax to Hanover. He was appointed Commissioner of Excise in 1705. Addison became under-secretary of state in 1706, serving first under Sir Charles Hedges, who was a Tory. Later he served under Lord Sunderland; Marlboroughs son-inlaw. Lord Sunderland was jealous of Addisons 1st patron. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1708. In 1709 he went to Dublin as secretary to the lord lieutenant of Ireland and Keeper of the Records of that country. In the same year he became the chief secretary of Ireland. But he lost his office with the collapse of the Whig government in 1710. After that he returned to England.

Addisons married life and later Life:


In 1716 he married a widow, the Dowager countess of Warwick. Addison went to live at her home, the famous Holland house. His married life was not so happy, and lasted for only three years. He led rest of his life single in peace. Addison became more & more a clubman. He spent most of his in the clubs and coffeehouses of London. But in his later life he had quarrels with Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift and his lifelong friend Richard Steele. His quarrel with pope was on

literary ground. But quarrel between Jonathan Swift and his Lifelong friend Richard Steele were for unfortunate political difference. In 1717 he was appointed secretary of state. He retired the next year with a generous pension. He died at Holland House Kensington on the 17th of June 1719. On that time he was only forty seven years old.

Works of Joseph Addison:

A Poem To His Majesty, Presented to the Lord Keeper (1695)

An Essay on Virgil's Georgics (1697) Latin poems, in Musarum anglicanarum analecta (1699)

Letter from Italy (1703) later published in 1704.

The Campaign: It was published in 1704. It was written in the heroic copulate. This particular poem is based on the battle of Blenheim. It was written to celebrate Marlborough's victory at Blenheim. This poem was poor enough. There was not any value in itself but it was important for him. It gave him a

reputation as one of the major poets of the age. By writing this poem he secured a post in government service. This poem gave such satisfaction to Lord Treasurer Godolphin that he was appointed a Commissioner of Appeals in the government of Halifax.

Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, &c. in the years 1701, 1702, 1703 (1705)

The Tatler (1709-11): In April 12, 1709 Richard Steele Lifelong friend of Addison published the 1st number of The Tatler. A periodical that was to appear thrice weekly. Addison saw and liked the publication. He offered to be a contributor of The Tatler. His offer was granted by his friend Steele. His first essay appeared in No.18. After that Addison wrote regularly for the paper. Addison contributed about 42 essays. The Tatler finished in January 1711.

The Spectator (1711): The Spectator was a daily publication founded by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele. The first number of The Spectator appeared on 1 March 1711. It appeared daily until Dec. 6, 1712. Within a few times it gained much popularity and had a great influence upon the readers of that period. In The Spectator Addison rapidly became the

dominating spirit. Addison wrote 274 essays out of a complete total of 555.

The Guardian (1713): In 1713 Steele published The Guardian. Its success was moderate. Not like The Spectator. Here Addison contributed about 51 numbers. It was terminated after 175 numbers.

Cato: A Tragedy (1713): Cato: A Tragedy is a play written by Joseph Addison in 1712, and first performed on 14 April 1713. It is based on the events of the last days of Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis (95 46 B.C.). It is written in blank verse. The play was a success throughout England, in her colonies as well as Ireland. It continued to grow in popularity, especially in the American colonies for several generations. It was almost certainly a literary inspiration for the American Revolution.

Addison had a very eventful life. There were ups and downs in his life. His poetry was never great any time. His play Cato was not very renowned. He contributed to the world of literature by his Essays. Through his essays he contributed to the social reforms and tried to make better human. And his way of life is very inspiring to us.

ASSIGNMENT ON LIFE AND WORKS OF JOSEPH ADDISON

SUBMITTED TO MUHAMMED ATIQUL ISLAM ASSISTANT PROFESSOR DEPT. OF ENGLISH SUBMITTED BY KHAYRUL ALAM ID# 101300022 DEPT. OF ENGLISH
DATE OF SUBMISSION 28TH July, 2012