The Miscellaneous Works, in Verse And Prose, of the Right Honorable Joseph Addison, Esq.

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by Joseph Addison

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) was a renowned contemporary writer and politician in Great Britain.[1] He is best known for his satirical social criticisms and periodical literature published in The Tatler and The Spectator, which he founded with his friend Richard Steele. Addison’s most famous work of fiction is Cato, a Tragedy, written in 1712. He is also known for his poetry, influenced by his extensive classical education and his time spent abroad from 1699-1704.[2]

Addison had a vibrant political career in the Whig party. He was involved in politics in London and Ireland, from 1704-1710; when he returned to London, he focused on his writing. After the death of Queen Anne in 1714, he reached his highest political office, the secretary of state for the southern department.

The compilation published in 1746, Miscellaneous Works, in Verse and Prose, includes some of the well-known poetry, essays, and fiction of Addison, which showcases his extensive involvement in the literary scene of London.[3]

Bibliographic Information

Author: Joseph Addison

Title: The Miscellaneous Works, in Verse And Prose, of the Right Honorable Joseph Addison, Esq.: With Some Account of the Life And Writings of the Author By Mr. Tickell

Publication Info: London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper, 1746.


Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Addison’s works. 1st. v. 12mo. and given by Thomas Jefferson to his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The precise edition owned by Wythe is unknown. George Wythe's Library[4] on LibraryThing indicates this, adding "Several duodecimo editions of Addison's works were published in three or four volumes, the first at Dublin in 1722-23." The Brown Bibliography[5] lists the 1746 edition published in London based on the copy Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress.[6] The Wolf Law Library followed Brown's suggestion and purchased the 1746 edition.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in leather with gilt lettering and spine decoration. Contains an armorial nameplate for Alexander, Lord Bamff on the front pastedowns. Set includes Addison's Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, &c. in the Years 1701-3 (London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper, 1745) as volume 4. Purchased from Rooke Books.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.


  1. Pat Rogers, “Addison, Joseph (1672–1719)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004), accessed September 16, 2013. Unless otherwise noted, all biographical details are from this source.
  2. Peter Smithers, The Life of Joseph Addison (London: N. Prevost, 1733), 40-49, accessed September 16, 2013.
  3. “Joseph Addison,” in The Illustrated Magazine of Art 1, no. 5 (1853), 305-308, accessed September 16, 2013.
  4. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 13, 2013,
  5. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  6. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 2nd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 4:539 [no.4546].