Oliver Goldsmith

Easton Press Oliver Goldsmith books

She Stoops to Conquer - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written - 1978
The Vicar of Wakefield - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1992


Franklin Library Oliver Goldsmith books

The Vicar of Wakefield - World's Best Loved Books - 1984


Oliver Goldsmith biography

Oliver Goldsmith, born on November 10, 1728, in Pallas, County Longford, Ireland, was an Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright, poet, and essayist whose literary contributions left an enduring mark on 18th-century British literature. His works, characterized by wit, sentiment, and keen observation, earned him recognition as one of the leading literary figures of his time. Goldsmith's early years were marked by financial struggles, and after receiving his education at Trinity College, Dublin, he set out on a journey that would take him across Europe. His experiences during this period, which included working as a tutor and studying at various European universities, would later influence his writing.

In 1756, Goldsmith settled in London, where he initially struggled to establish himself in the literary world. However, his talent and charm soon gained him entry into influential literary circles. Goldsmith's first major success came with the publication of The Citizen of the World (1762), a series of fictional letters that provided satirical commentary on English society. This work showcased his ability to blend humor with social critique. One of Goldsmith's most enduring works is the novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), a sentimental and moral tale that follows the life of Dr. Primrose, a country vicar. The novel, characterized by its charm and moral lessons, became immensely popular and is considered a classic of English literature.

Goldsmith's literary versatility extended to the stage. His play She Stoops to Conquer (1773) is a celebrated comedy of manners known for its humor and clever characterization. The play's success solidified Goldsmith's reputation as a playwright.

Despite his literary accomplishments, Goldsmith faced personal challenges, including financial difficulties and health issues. He struggled with debt throughout his life and relied on his writing to sustain himself. Goldsmith's untimely death on April 4, 1774, at the age of 45, was a result of a combination of pneumonia and complications from his medical treatments. Oliver Goldsmith's legacy endured through his literary contributions, which spanned poetry, essays, novels, and plays. His ability to capture the nuances of human behavior and his skillful use of language influenced later writers, and his works continue to be studied and appreciated for their wit, insight, and enduring appeal in the realm of English literature.

The Vicar of Wakefield

Oliver Goldsmith's hugely successful novel of 1766 remained for generations one of the most highly regarded and beloved works of eighteenth-century fiction. It depicts the fall and rise of the Primrose family, presided over by the benevolent vicar, the narrator of a fairy-tale plot of impersonation and deception, the abduction of a beautiful heroine and the machinations of an aristocratic villain. By turns comic and sentimental, the novel's popularity owes much to its recognizable depiction of domestic life and loving family relationships.

When Dr Primrose loses his fortune in a disastrous investment, his idyllic life in the country is shattered and he is forced to move with his wife and six children to an impoverished living on the estate of Squire Thornhill. Taking to the road in pursuit of his daughter, who has been seduced by the rakish Squire, the beleaguered Primrose becomes embroiled in a series of misadventures - encountering his long lost son in a travelling theatre company and even spending time in a debtor's prison. Yet Primrose, though hampered by his unworldliness and pride, is sustained by his unwavering religious faith. In The Vicar of Wakefield, Goldsmith gently mocks many of the literary conventions of his day - from pastoral and romance to the picaresque - infusing his story of a hapless clergyman with warm humour and amiable social satire.

The sweetness of a pastoral poem and the spice of a vivacious comedy mark the enduring charm of The Vicar of Wakefield. With artful skill and delicious humor Oliver Goldsmith describes the trials and triumphs that befall a simple village vicar and shows, in a series of climactic surprises, how unswerving faith is rewarded and villainy vanquished.

Rich with wisdom and gentle irony, Oliver Goldsmith's only novel is a charming comedy that tells of an unworldly and generous vicar who loves contentedly with his large family until disaster strikes. When his idyllic life is brutally interrupted by bankruptcy and his daughter's abduction, he lands in prison. Yet these misfortunes fail to dampen the vicar's spirit or cause him to lose sight of Christian morality.
A delightful lampoon of such literary conventions of the day as pastoral scenes, artificial romance, and the hero's stoic bravery, The Vicar of Wakefield has remained a classic since it was first published in 1766.

Regarded by some as a straightforward and well-intentioned novel of sentiment, and by others as a satire on the very literary conventions and morality it seems to embody, The Vicar of Wakefield contains, in the figure of the vicar himself, one of the most harmlessly simply and unsophisticated yet also ironically complex narrators ever to appear in English fiction.

She Stoops to Conquer - Or the Mistakes of the Night

This charming comedy has delighted audiences for over two centuries. First performed in 1773, it concerns Kate Hardcastle, a young lady who poses as a serving girl to win the heart of a young gentleman too shy to court ladies of his own class. A number of delightful deceits and hilarious turns of plot must be played out before the mating strategies of both Kate Hardcastle and her friend Constance Neville conclude happily. Along the way, there is an abundance of merry mix-ups, racy dialogue and sly satire of the sentimental comedies of Goldsmith's day.
The extraordinary humor and humanity with which Goldsmith invested this play have made it one of the most read, performed, and studied of all English comedies. It is now available in this inexpensive Dover edition, based on the text of the fourth edition, published in the year of the play's first staging.

This comic masterpiece mocked the simple morality of sentimental comedies. Subtitled The Mistakes of a Night, the play is a lighthearted farce that derives its charm from the misunderstandings which entangle the well-drawn characters. Mr. Hardcastle plans to marry his forthright daughter Kate to bashful Marlow, the son of his friend Sir Charles Marlow. Mrs. Hardcastle wants her recalcitrant son Tony Lumpkin to marry her ward Constance Neville, who is in love with Marlow's friend Hastings. Humorous mishaps occur when Tony dupes Marlow and Hastings into believing that Mr. Hardcastle's home is an inn. By posing as a servant, Kate wins the heart of Marlow, who is uncomfortable in the company of wellborn women but is flirtatious with barmaids. A comedy in five acts by Oliver Goldsmith, produced and published in 1773.

Wealthy countryman Mr. Hardcastle arranges for his daughter Kate to meet Charles Marlow, the son of a wealthy Londoner, hoping the pair will marry. Unfortunately Marlow is nervous around upper-class women, yet the complete opposite around lower-class females. On his first acquaintance with Kate, the latter realizes she will have to pretend to be common, or Marlow will not woo her. Thus Kate stoops to conquer, by posing as a maid, hoping to put Marlow at his ease so he falls for her. Marlow sets out for the Hardcastle's manor with a friend, George Hastings, an admirer of Miss Constance Neville, another young lady who lives with the Hardcastles. During the journey the two men become lost and stop at an alehouse, The Three Pigeons, for directions.
Tony Lumpkin, Kate's half-brother and cousin to Constance, comes across the two strangers at the alehouse and, realizing their identity, plays a practical joke by telling them that they are a long way from their destination and will have to stay overnight at an inn. The "inn" he directs them to is in fact the home of the Hardcastles. When they arrive, the Hardcastles, who have been expecting them, go out of their way to make them welcome. However, Marlow and Hastings, believing themselves at an inn, behave extremely disdainfully towards their hosts. Hardcastle bears their unwitting insults with forbearance, because of his friendship with the father.
Kate learns of her suitor's shyness from Constance and a servant tells her about Tony's trick. She decides to masquerade as a serving-maid (changing her accent and garb) in order to get to know him. Marlow falls in love with her and plans to elope with her but, because she appears of a lower class, acts in a somewhat bawdy manner around her. All misunderstandings are resolved by the end, thanks to an appearance by Sir Charles Marlow.
The main sub-plot is that of the secret romance between Constance and Hastings. Constance needs her jewels, an inheritance, which are guarded by Tony's mother, Mrs. Hardcastle; the latter wants Constance to marry her son to keep the jewels in the family. Tony despises the thought of marrying Constance he prefers a barmaid at the alehouse and so agrees to steal the jewels from his mother's safekeeping for Miss Neville, so she will then flee to France with Hastings.
The play concludes with Kate's plan succeeding, thus she and Marlow become engaged. Tony discovers he is of "age", despite his mother not telling him so, thus he receives the money he is entitled to. He refuses to marry Constance, who then is eligible to receive her jewels and to become engaged to Hastings, which she does.

The best-loved English comedy of the 18-century mocks the snobbery of London through the manipulations of the country, embodied in Tony Lumpkin. She Stoops to Conquer also celebrates the virtues of "laughing comedy," which Goldsmith advocated over the prevalent sentimental forms of his contemporaries. Regularly revived on stage.

The action of She Stoops to Conquer (1773) is largely confined to a night and a day in Squire Hardcastle's somewhat dilapidated country house: Young Marlow, on his way there to meet the bride his father has chosen for him, loses his way and arrives at the house assuming it is an inn. The prospect of meeting the genteel Miss Hardcastle terrifies the diffident youngster; but the serving-girl Kate in fact, Miss Hardcastle, who chooses not to clarify the misunderstanding immediately catches his fancy and cannot complain of a lack of ardour in her well-born suitor. After a series of trifling confusions and the inevitable eavesdropping from behind a screen, all is resolved so pleasingly that the comedy has been a favourite with amateur and professional companies and their audiences for over 230 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your best book review and recommendation

Best books in order by author list:

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z

Privacy Policy        |        Terms and Disclosure        |        Contact        |        About        |        Best Book Categories        |        Framed Tributes

© 2002 - 2024 Leather Bound Treasure