Oliver Goldsmith Statue

Trinity College , Dublin 2

Oliver Goldsmith (10 November 1730 - 4 April 1774) one of a long line of distinguished graduates of Trinity College, was an Anglo-Irish writer, poet, and physician known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), his pastoral poem The Deserted Village (1770) (written in memory of his brother), and his plays The Good-Natur'd Man (1768) and She Stoops to Conquer (1771, first performed in 1773).

He also wrote An History of the Earth and Animated Nature. He is thought to have written the classic children's tale The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes, the source of the phrase "goody two-shoes".

He lived most of his adult life in London writing such favourites as the novel The Vicar of Wakefield, the poem The Deserted Village and the play She Stoops to Conquer.

In the 1760's Goldsmith witnessed the demolition of an ancient village and destruction of its farms to clear land to become a wealthy man's garden. His poem The Deserted Village, published in 1770, expresses a fear that the destruction of villages and the conversion of land from productive agriculture to ornamental landscape gardens would ruin the peasantry.[3]
The Deserted Village gave the demolished village the pseudonym "Sweet Auburn" and Goldsmith did not disclose the real village on which he based it. However, he did indicate it was about 50 miles (80 km) from London and it is widely believed to have been Nuneham Courtenay in Oxfordshire, which Simon Harcourt, 1st Earl Harcourt had demolished and moved 1 mile (1.6 km) away to make the park for his newly built Nuneham House

 


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