Steele, Sir Richard


Steele, Sir Richard
(1672-1729)
   Essayist and dramatist, s. of a Dublin attorney, who d. when his s. was 5 years old, was on the nomination of the Duke of Ormond, sent to the Charterhouse School, where his friendship with Addison began, and thence went to Oxf., but left without taking a degree, and enlisted in the Horse Guards, for which he was disinherited by a rich relation. He, however, gained the favour of his colonel, Lord Cutts, himself a poet, and rose to the rank of captain. With the view of setting before himself a high ideal of conduct (to which unhappily he was never able to attain), he at this time wrote a treatise on morals entitled The Christian Hero (1701). Abandoning this vein, he next produced three comedies, The Funeral, or Grief à la Mode (1702), The Tender Husband (1703), and The Lying Lover (1704). Two years later he was appointed Gentleman Waiter to Prince George of Denmark, and in 1707 he was made Gazetteer; and in the same year he m. as his second wife Mary Scurlock, his "dear Prue," who seems, however, to have been something of a termagant. She had considerable means, but the incorrigible extravagance of S. soon brought on embarrassment. In 1709 he laid the foundations of his fame by starting the Tatler, the first of those periodicals which are so characteristic a literary feature of that age. In this he had the invaluable assistance of Addison, who contributed 42 papers out of a total of 271, and helped with others. The Tatler was followed by the Spectator, in which Addison co-operated to a still greater extent. It was even a greater success, and ran to 555 numbers, exclusive of a brief revival by Addison in which S. had no part, and in its turn was followed by the Guardian. It is on his essays in these that the literary fame of S. rests. With less refinement and delicacy of wit than Addison, he had perhaps more knowledge of life, and a wider sympathy, and like him he had a sincere desire for the reformation of morals and manners. In the keen political strife of the times he fought stoutly and honestly on the Whig side, one result of which was that he lost his office of Gazetteer, and was in 1714 expelled from the House of Commons to which he had just been elected. The next year gave a favourable turn to his fortunes. The accession of George I. brought back the Whigs, and S. was appointed to various offices, including a commissionership on forfeited estates in Scotland, which took him to Edinburgh, where he was welcomed by all the literati there. Nothing, however, could keep him out of financial embarrassments, and other troubles followed: his wife d.; differences, arose with Addison, who d. before a reconciliation could be effected. The remaining years were clouded by financial troubles and ill-health. His last work was a play, The Conscious Lovers (1722). He left London and lived at Hereford and at Carmarthen, where he d. after a partial loss of his faculties from paralysis.
   Lives by Austin Dobson (1886) and G.A. Aitken (1889). Ed., Plays by Aitken (1893), Essays (selected) Clarendon Press (1885), Tatler, Aitken (1898), Spectator, H. Morley (1868), Gregory Smith (1897-8), Aitken (1898).

Short biographical dictionary of English literature . . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Steele,Sir Richard — Steele, Sir Richard. 1672 1729. Irish born English writer of plays and essays who founded and edited The Tatler (1709 1711) and, with Joseph Addison, The Spectator (1711 1712). * * * …   Universalium

  • Steele, Sir Richard — born 1672, Dublin, Ire. died Sept. 1, 1729, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales English journalist, dramatist, essayist, and politician. He began his long friendship with Joseph Addison at school and attempted an army career before turning to… …   Universalium

  • Steele, Sir Richard — (1672 1729)    Born in Dublin, the son of wealthy attorney who died when his son was five years old, he was educated at Charterhouse School at the same time as Joseph Addison (see entry), with whom he developed a lifelong friendship. He left… …   British and Irish poets

  • Steele, sir Richard — ► (1672 1729) Escritor y periodista inglés. Fundó los periódicos Tatler, Guardian y Spectator. * * * (1672 Dublín, Irlanda–1 sep. 1729, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Gales). Periodista, dramaturgo, ensayista y líder político inglés. Comenzó su… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • STEELE, SIR RICHARD —    a famous English essayist, born, the son of an attorney, in Dublin; educated as a foundationer at the Charterhouse and at Oxford; enamoured of a soldier s life, enlisted (1694) as a cadet in the Life Guards; in the following year received an… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Baker, Sir Richard — ▪ British author born c. 1568 died Feb. 18, 1645, London, Eng.       British writer and author of A Chronicle of the Kings of England.       Baker was educated at Hart Hall, Oxford, studied law in London, and traveled abroad. A member of… …   Universalium

  • Steele — Steele, sir Richard …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Richard Steele — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Richard Steele. Sir Richard Steele (bautizado el 12 de marzo de 1672 – fallecido en Llangunnor el 1 de septiembre de 1729) fue un escritor y político irlandés, recordado, junto a su amigo, Joseph Add …   Wikipedia Español

  • Richard Steele — Sir Richard Steele (* März 1672 in Dublin; † 1. September 1729 in Carmarthen) war ein irischer Schriftsteller und Komödienautor. Er war Herausgeber der London Gazette und Gründer der Zeitschriften The Tatler und The Spectator. Für The Tatler… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Steele — Steele, Sir Richard (1672 1729) an Irish writer who started the magazine The ↑Tatler. His friend Joseph Addison also wrote articles for it …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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