A portrait of Oliver Goldsmith (source)

Oliver Goldsmith

1730 - 1774 Writer

OLIVER GOLDSMITH was an Anglo-Irish writer who was probably born in the townland of Pallas, near Ballymahon in Co Longford (though he may actually have been born in Co Roscommon). He was the son of an Anglican curate and in 1744 entered Trinity College Dublin. He wasn't a good student, though he seems to have had a great time drinking, gambling and playing music. Afterwards he spent some time on the Continent, doing some desultory studying but mostly travelling and supporting himself by busking with his flute. He arrived in London in 1756 where he became a prolific hack writer and journalist who occasionally produced literary work. His life-style remained disorganised with a heavy emphasis on pleasure. At one stage he decided to emigrate to America but gave up the idea when he missed the ship. His most enduring works are 'The Deserted Village', a long poem about an eviction in Ireland, 'The Vicar of Wakefield', which is usually described as a novel although it contains various literary genres between its covers, and 'She Stoops to Conquer', a play that is still performed today.


Goldsmith in Episode Five

Dick visits the statue of Goldsmith in Ballymahon, Co. Longford in episode five.

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