Friends, but Most Importantly Gentlemen: Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele.
Two young boys, friends from childhood, have a dream to entertain through their words. These young boys were Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele. Steele was born in 1672 to English parents, but tragedy soon left the young boy abandoned and sent away to school at the Charterhouse. Addison was also born in 1672 and was the son of an English clergyman, who left for school at the Charterhouse. The rest is history; periodical essays history. Their essays were released at least once a week, on a single sheet of paper, normally with one piece of writing. The most famous of the boys' periodicals were The Spectator, which ran from 1711 to 1712, and The Tatler, which ran from 1709 to 1711. The purpose of these essays was not just to educate, but to entertain as Steele has proclaimed, "The general purpose of these papers is to expose the false arts of life, to pull off the disguise of cunning, vanity, and affection, and to recommend a general simplicity in our dress, our discourse, and our behavior." Addison followed Steele's proclamation, exclaiming, "I shall endeavor to enliven morality with wit and temper wit with morality." The brilliance of both periodicals is evident not only in the expression of allowing for women to have stronger roles in English society, to help expose ignorance, prejudice, hatred, and to provide and intellectual and well-rounded society. These boys accomplished their goals for both, who knows where today's newspapers and magazines would be without the fore runners to pave the way.
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