Born in Dublin, Steele studied at Charterhouse School (where he met Addison) and Merton College Oxford (1691-94). A poem on the death of Queen Mary won the poet a promotion to captain in the Life Guards and the position of secretary to Lord Cutts (1696-97). Steele wrote several successful plays before beginning his career as an essayist in 1709 with the Tatler, which was followed by The Spectator and The Guardian. Steele was elected M.P. for Stockbridge in 1713 but was ejected for libel in 1714; he was knighted in 1715 by the new king. He left London in distressed circumstances in 1724, and died at Carmarthen in 1729.
The procession: a poem on her Majesty's funeral. 1695.
The Christian hero. 1701.
The funeral, or grief a-la-mode, a comedy. 1702.
The lying lover, or the ladies friendship: a comedy. 1704.
The tender husband. 1705.
The mistake. 1706.
The tatler [editor and contributor]. 1709-11.
The spectator [editor and contributor]. 1711-14.
The Englishman's thanks to the Duke of Marlborough. 1712.
The guardian [editor and contributor]. 1713-14.
The Englishman. 1713-15.
A letter to Sir M. W[arton] concerning occasional peers. 1713.
The importance of Dunkirk consider'd. 1713.
The crisis: with some seasonable remarks on the danger of a Popish successor. 1714.
The French faith represented in the present state of Dunkirk. 1714.
The ladies library [ed. Steele]. 3 vols, 1714.
A letter to a Member of Parliament. 1714.
The lover, written in imitation of the Tatler [ed. Steele]. 1714.
Mr Steele's apology for himself and his writings. 1714.
Mr Steele's speech upon the proposal of Sir Thomas Hanmer for Speaker. 1714.
Poetical miscellanies [ed. Steele]. 1714.
The reader, ed. Steele. 1714.
Political writings. 1715.
Town-talk, in a letter to a lady in the country [ed. Steele]. 1715-16.
The British subject's answer to the Pretender's declaration. 1716.
Chit-chat, in a letter to a lady in the country. 1716.
The tea table [ed. Steele]. 1716.
A letter to a member etc. 1716.
Sir Richard Steele's speech for repealing the triennial act. 1716.
Sir Richard Steele's account of Mr Desagulier's new-invented chimneys. 1716.
An account of the fish pool. 1718.
The antidote, in a letter to the Free-thinker. 1719.
A letter to the Earl of O—d concerning the bill of peerage. 1719.
The plebeian [ed. Steele]. 1719.
The spinster, in defence of the woollen manufacturers. 1719.
The crisis of property. 1720.
A nation a family. 1720.
The state of the case between the Lord-Chamberlain and the governor of the Royal Company of Comedians. 1720.
The theatre, ed. Steele. 1720.
The conscious-lovers: a comedy. 1723.
Dramatick works. 1723.
Epistolary correspondence, ed. John Nichols. 2 vols, 1787.
Letters, ed. R. B. Johnson. 1927.
The Christian hero, ed. Rae Blanchard. 1932.
Correspondence, ed. Rae Blanchard. 1941, 1968.
Occasional verse, ed. Rae Blanchard. 1952.
Plays, ed. Shirley S. Kenny. 1971.