Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith

About Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith (10 November 1728 Smith-Hill House near Elphin, Roscommon, Ireland – 4 April 1774 London) was an Irish poet, writer and physician. He started writing in 1758 and founded the journal The Bee in 1759. A founding member of Samuel Johnson's Literary Club (1765), Oliver Goldsmith published the Letters of a Chinese Philosopher (imitated from the Persian Letters) in 1762, then The Traveler (1764), poem which made him famous enough for him to publish a novel, his masterpiece, written in 1761-1762 and entitled The Vicar of Wakefield. The success of this novel, where the memories of his childhood abound, is slow in coming, but it always lasts. It is the story of a family at the same time as a novel of introspection, tinged with philosophy. His sentimentalism, freed from puritanism, is human, humanitarian, even ethical, and could lead to romanticism; its realism is psychological as well as social; his style admirably adapted to domestic adventures which he animates with his charitable irony, his clear-sighted bonhomie. He also published one his famous poetry collection, his pastoral poem The Deserted Village in 1770).
In 1768, Goldsmith tried his hand at the theater with the play The Good-Natur'd Man, which was successful, as was his second play, She Stoops to Conquer (1771, first performed in 1773).
Goldsmith was the son of an Anglican cleric and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College Dublin in 1749. He studied first theology and law, later medicine at the University of Edinburgh and at the University of Leiden. After graduation he worked as an assistant to a pharmacist in Leiden. Constantly short of money, Goldsmith produced numerous texts for the London publishers. However, his painstaking work earned him the friendship of Samuel Johnson, with whom he founded The Club.
Goldsmith was a very active writer and published a large amount of writings on various subjects, from ancient history to the natural sciences, from philosophy to numerous translations.
He died in London in 1774. Goldsmith is buried in Temple Church Cemetery, London. A marble memorial was also erected at his memory in Westminster Abbey, in Poets' Corner, with a Latin epitaph by Samuel Johnson.

Browse all poems and texts published on Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith Poems

Syndicate content

Popular Poets of All Time

  • Robert Frost
    Robert Frost
    was an American poet.
  • Maya Angelou
    Maya Angelou
    was an African-American poet.
  • Pablo Neruda
    Pablo Neruda
    Nobel prize chilean poet.