Isaac Bickerstaff Esq was a pseudonym used by Jonathan Swift as part of a hoax to predict the death of then famous Almanac-maker and astrologer John Partridge. In 1709, Richard Steele bolstered the release of his new paper The Tatler by naming the fictitious Isaac Bickerstaff Esq. as editor. The Tatler had occasional contributions from Swift, although largely written by Steele and Joseph Addison. Sir Richard Steele (baptised 1672-1729) was an Irish writer and politician, remembered as co-founder, with his friend Joseph Addison, of the magazine The Spectator. A member of the Protestant gentry, he was educated at Charterhouse School, where he first met Addison. He went on to Merton College, Oxford, then joined the Life Guards of the Household Cavalry. His first published work, The Christian Hero (1701), attempted to point out the differences between perceived and actual masculinity. He afterwards became a dramatist, and his comedies, such as The Tender Husband (1703) met with some success. In 1706 he was appointed to a position in the household of Prince George of Denmark. In 1709, Steele founded a thriceweekly satirical magazine, Tatler, which lasted only two years in its first incarnation. A member of the Whig Kit-Kat Club, Steele became a Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1713. His works include: A Defence of the Crisis (1714), The Political Writings of Sir Richard Steele (1715), The Dramatick Works of Sir Richard Steele (1722) and The Epistolary Correspondence of Sir Richard Steele (1787).
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