Sir Richard Steele (1672 –1729) was an Irish writer and politician. He published his first booklet, The Christian Hero, in 1701. It was written while he was serving in the army, and was meant as a pamphlet of moral instruction. It met with considerable ridicule, however, as he was known not to follow its teachings – preferring drinking, occasional dueling, and debauchery. In the same year he wrote a comedy, The Funeral, which met with wide success and was performed at Drury Lane. He wrote a number of subsequent plays, and began publishing a thrice weekly journal, The Tatler, in April 1709. The Tatler aimed "to expose the false arts of life, to pull off the disguises of cunning, vanity, and affectation, and to recommend a general simplicity in our dress, our discourse, and our behavior."
Together with Joseph Addison, he co-founded The Spectator. He was also a member of the Kit-Kat Club. He was knighted in 1714, and given responsibility for the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Here, he wrote and directed The Conscious Lovers, which was an immediate hit. In 1724 he retired to Wales.