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Joseph Addison
1 May 1672 – 17 June 1719


Joseph Addison was an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician. His name is usually remembered alongside that of his long-standing friend, Richard Steele, with whom he founded The Spectator magazine.

In 1712, Addison wrote his most famous work of fiction, Cato, a Tragedy. Based on the last days of Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis, it deals with such themes as individual liberty versus government tyranny, Republicanism versus Monarchism, logic versus emotion and Cato's personal struggle to cleave to his beliefs in the face of death. It was almost certainly a literary inspiration for the American Revolution, being well known to many of the Founding Fathers.

 

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