Richard Steele (1672-1729) is famous as an early writer of sentimental drama and as half of the essay-writing team of Addison and Steele. But during 1713 and 1714 he became the leading political propagandist for the Whigs, campaigning particularly for the royal succession of the house of Hanover. In the last months of Anne's reign he was expelled from Parliament for seditious libel. In the first months of George's reign he was returned again to Parliament, made a manager of Drury Lane Theatre and knighted. Thereafter, Sir Richard continued to write political propaganda but took independent positions on important issues, at the expense of his friendship with Addison. As a theatrical manager he failed to effect a reformist agenda, but his final play, The Conscious Lovers, represented the exemplary drama he advocated.
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