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Written by Scottish novelist William Black (1841-98), this biography of the Irish-born poet, dramatist and novelist Oliver Goldsmith (c.1728-74) was published in 1878 as the sixth book in the first series of English Men of Letters. Goldsmith is best known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766) and the play She Stoops to Conquer (1771), as well as his close association with Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, and William Hogarth. The biography is a colourful one: as Black observes, Goldsmith, who was trained as a physician but whose whole career was in literature, possessed a 'happy knack of enjoying the present hour', and his pursuit of pleasure frequently left him in debt. Black himself was one of the most prolific and popular writers of his day; a collected edition of his works published 1892-4 ran to twenty-six volumes.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 113908397X
  • 9781139083973

Table of contents

1. Introductory; 2. School and college; 3. Idleness, and foreign travel; 4. Early struggles - hack-writing; 5. Beginning of authorship - The Bee; 6. Personal traits; 7. The Citizen of the World - Beau Nash; 8. The arrest; 9. The Traveller; 10. Miscellaneous writing; 11. The Vicar of Wakefield; 12. The Good-natured Man; 13. Goldsmith in society; 14. The Deserted Village; 15. Occasional writing; 16. She Stoops to Conquer; 17. Increasing difficulties - the end.
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