By Oliver Goldsmith. A perfect reproduction of the famous Cassell’s Illustrated Edition, this completely reset and hand-edited book contains ten works from the pen of one of Ireland’s most successful novelists.
Starting with his most famous novel, The Vicar of Wakefield, the book contains seven of his most celebrated poems including The Deserted Villageand ends with the renowned stage comedies, She Stoops to Conquer and The Good-natured Man.
Written in the golden era of English literature—the time of the literary clubs of Samuel Johnson and Joshua Reynolds, both personal friends of the author—Goldsmith’s understated humour and insight into human nature won him accolades during his lifetime and long after—so that schools, libraries and even a street in London are named after him.
The Vicar of Wakefield, which first appeared in 1766, tells the story of the trials and tribulations of a country vicar, his wife, and their six children. The plot runs through innumerable twists and turns, chronicling the vicar’s drastically changing circumstances. It remains one of the most popular English-language novels ever published.
Goldsmith’s most celebrated poem, The Deserted Village, tells of his opinions after witnessing the demolition of an ancient village and destruction of its farms to clear land to become a wealthy man’s garden. This was his only overtly political work, expressing an opinion that the failure to protect the peasantry against class exploitation would lead to the ruin of the working classes.
His other poems contained in this volume are of a lighter note, and include the classicRetaliation, his humorous reply to a roasting he received at the hands of his literary circle friends.
She Stoops to Conquer is possibly Goldsmith’s most famous stage play, and is still performed to the present day, a record for endurance only bettered by Shakespeare. A fine comedy about human pretensions and mistaken identities, the tale is based on a real-life incident in which Goldsmith stayed at a house under the mischievously-created impression that it was a commercial inn.
The Good-natured Man was another of Goldsmith’s successful comedies, also based on high good humour, mistaken identities and often hilarious insights into human behaviour.
The Vicar of Wakefield.
The Deserted Village.
The Haunch of Venison.
Stanzas on the taking of Quebec, and death of General Wolfe.
An Elegy on the glory of her sex, Mrs. Mary Blaize.
She Stoops to Conquer; or, the Mistakes of a Night.
The Good-natured Man.
About the author: Oliver Goldsmith (1730–1774) was an Irish novelist, playwright and poet. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, but only after being first expelled from the theology and law schools after taking part in a riot during which a local prison was stormed. This tempestuous lifestyle became an overriding characteristic of Goldsmith for the rest of his life, despite his later literary success.
Paperback, 442 pages, 6″ x 9″, $13.95