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Joseph Addison
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Author
    (May 1, 1672-June 17, 1719)
    Born in Milston, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom
    Essayist/poet/playwright/politician
    Wrote the plays 'Cato' (1713) and 'The Drummer' (1716)
    Wrote the poems 'Pax Gulielmi' (1697) and 'The Campaign' (1704)
    Contributed to the magazine 'The Tatler'
    Co-founder of the magazines 'The Spectator' (1711-14) and 'The Freeholder' (1715-16)
    Member of Parliament for Lostwithiel (1708-09) and Malmesbury (1710-19)
    Namesake for 'Addisonian termination' (a fancy way of describing ending a sentence with a preposition)
    His poems made flattering references to influential men as a means of furthering his political career.
    He was so shy, he attempted to make a speech in Parliament only once, returning to his seat in confusion before getting past the opening sentence.
    Alexander Pope called him 'A timorous foe and a suspicious friend... Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike.'
    He translated Virgil and Ovid and modeled his prose style on Roman poetry.
    Samuel Johnson wrote, '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.'
    His play 'Cato,' with its theme of individual liberty versus government tyranny, was particularly popular during the American Revolution, with George Washington having it performed for the Continental Army at Valley Forge.

Credit: C. Fishel


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