Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), essayist, reviewer, dramatist, novelist, librettist and poet, became one of the most popular authors in that "age of authors", especially for "The Vicar of Wakefield". In this selection of his poetry and prose, John Lucas reconsiders Thackeray's praise of Goldsmith as "the most beloved of English writers", and reveals him as a more radical, formidable - and Irish - figure than the phrase suggests. Goldsmith's "wit, civility of tone and adroit handling of form" express, Lucas argues, the author's intelligence, integrity and concern for a society that he saw disintegrating into competing interests. The introduction, detailed notes and afterword on the contemporary context present a Goldsmith whose moral seriousness is as necessary to 21st century society as it was to his own.
Oliver Goldsmith was an Irish writer and physician known for his novels, pastoral poems, and plays. He is the author of the novels "The Vicar of Wakefield" and "She Stoops to Conquer." John Lucas is professor emeritus of English at the University of Loughborough and the University of Nottingham Trent. He is also the publisher of Shoestring Press.