Portrait 1769–70 by Joshua Reynolds
November 10, 1728 (disputed)|
Either Ballymahon, County Longford, Ireland or Elphin, County Roscommon, Ireland
|Died||April 4, 1774
|Resting place||Temple Church, London|
|Occupation||Playwright, poet, busker, apothecary's assistant|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Dublin|
|Literary movement||The Club|
|Notable work(s)||The Vicar of Wakefield, "The Deserted Village", The Good-Natur'd Man, She Stoops to Conquer|
Oliver Goldsmith (10 November 1730 – 4 April 1774) was an Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright and poet, who is best known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), his pastoral poem The Deserted Village (1770), 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".
Goldsmith's birth date and year are not known with certainty. According to the Library of Congress authority file, he told a biographer that he was born on 10 November 1728. The location of his birthplace is also uncertain. He was born either in the townland of Pallas, near Ballymahon, County Longford, Ireland, where his father was the Anglican curate of the parish of Forgney, or at the residence of his maternal grandparents, at the Smith Hill House in the diocese of Elphin, County Roscommon where his grandfather Oliver Jones was a clergyman and master of the Elphin diocesan school, and where Oliver studied. When he was two years old, Goldsmith's father was appointed the rector of the parish of "Kilkenny West" in County Westmeath. The family moved to the parsonage at Lissoy, between Athlone and Ballymahon, and continued to live there until his father's death in 1747.
In 1744 Goldsmith went up to Trinity College, Dublin. His tutor was Theaker Wilder. Neglecting his studies in theology and law, he fell to the bottom of his class. In 1747, along with four other undergraduates, he was expelled for a riot in which they attempted to storm the Marshalsea Prison. He was graduated in 1749 as a Bachelor of Arts, but without the discipline or distinction that might have gained him entry to a profession in the church or the law; his education seemed to have given him mainly a taste for fine clothes, playing cards, singing Irish airs and playing the flute. He lived for a short time with his mother, tried various professions without success, studied medicine desultorily at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Leiden, and set out on a walking tour of Flanders, France, Switzerland and Northern Italy, living by his wits (busking with his flute).
He settled in London in 1756, where he briefly held various jobs, including an apothecary's assistant and an usher of a school. Perennially in debt and addicted to gambling, Goldsmith produced a massive output as a hack writer for the publishers of London, but his few painstaking works earned him the company of Samuel Johnson, with whom he was a founding member of "The Club". The combination of his literary work and his dissolute lifestyle led Horace Walpole to give him the epithet inspired idiot. During this period he used the pseudonym "James Willington" (the name of a fellow student at Trinity) to publish his 1758 translation of the autobiography of the Huguenot Jean Marteilhe.
Goldsmith was described by contemporaries as prone to envy, a congenial but impetuous and disorganised personality who once planned to emigrate to America but failed because he missed his ship.Thomas De Quincey wrote of him 'All the motion of Goldsmith's nature moved in the direction of the true, the natural, the sweet, the gentle'. 
His premature death in 1774 may have been partly due to his own misdiagnosis of his kidney infection. Goldsmith was buried in Temple Church in London. The inscription reads; "HERE LIES/OLIVER GOLDSMITH". There is a monument to him in the center of Ballymahon, also in Westminster Abbey with an epitaph written by Samuel Johnson.
The Citizen of the World 
In 1760 Goldsmith began to publish a series of letters in the Public Ledger under the title The Citizen of the World. Purportedly written by a Chinese traveler in England named Lien Chi, they used this fictional outsider's perspective to comment ironically and at times moralistically on British society and manners. It was inspired by the earlier essay series Persian Letters by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu.
The Hermit 
Goldsmith wrote this romantic ballad of precisely 160 lines in 1765. The hero and heroine are Edwin, a youth without wealth or power, and Angelina, the daughter of a lord "beside the Tyne." Angelina spurns many wooers, but refuses to make plain her love for young Edwin. "Quite dejected with my scorn," Edwin disappears and becomes a hermit. One day, Angelina turns up at his cell in boy's clothes and, not recognizing him, tells him her story. Edwin then reveals his true identity, and the lovers never part again. The poem is notable for its interesting portrayal of a hermit, who is fond of the natural world and his wilderness solitude but maintains a gentle, sympathetic demeanor toward other people. In keeping with eremitical tradition, however, Edwin the Hermit claims to "spurn the [opposite] sex." This poem appears under the title of "A Ballad" sung by the character of Mr. Burchell in Chapter 8 of Goldsmith's novel, The Vicar of Wakefield.
The Deserted Village 
In the 1760s 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.
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.
A single line from The Deserted Village is inscribed on the plinth of a statue of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in Saxon Dress  The words on the plinth are 'ALLURED TO BRIGHTER WORLDS, AND LED THE WAY' from ll.163 -176 of the poem:
- '...Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, / And e'en his failings lean'd to Virtue's side; / But in his duty prompt at every call, / He watch'd and wept, he pray'd and felt, for all. / And, as a bird each fond endearment tries / To tempt its new-fledg'd offspring to the skies, / He tried each art, reprov'd each dull delay, / ALLURED TO BRIGHTER WORLDS, AND LED THE WAY.' (caps. added, as in the inscription).
In Ireland the village described in the poem is thought to be Glasson village, nr Athlone. Signage around the village points out the association with Oliver Goldsmith. The village is also described as the "village of the roses" since in the poem Glasson appears as Sweet Auburn which locally means 'Roses'. Glasson was famous in the 1800s for its rose bloom and the local landlord, Robert Temple is said to have walked the village giving prizes for the best presented houses.
In United States popular culture (Specifically Alabama), the poem's first line "Sweet Auburn, Loveliest village of the plain" is the basis for the term "Auburn Plainsman/Plainsmen" which is used to refer to an Auburn University student and is also the source for the name of the University student Newspaper, The Auburn Plainsman.
'The Deserted Village', wrote Austin Dobson in 1887 , with its sympathy with humanity gives it higher value as a work of art over Goldsmith's first success poetical 'The Traveller' 
Other works 
- The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith (ed) Austin Dobson, 1887, kindle ebook March 2011 ASIN B004TP31VM
- The ironic poem, An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog was published in 1766.
- Goldsmith is also thought to have written the classic children's tale The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes.
Memorials concerning Oliver Goldsmith 
His name has been given to a new lecture theatre and student accommodation on the Trinity College campus: Goldsmith Hall.
Somerset Maugham used the last line from An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog in his novel The Painted Veil (1925). The character Walter Fane's last words are The dog it was that died.
Auburn, Alabama, and Auburn University were named for the first line in Goldsmith's poem: "Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain." Auburn is still referred to as the 'loveliest village on the plain.'
Longford based band Goldsmith are named after the famous writer.
Athlone Institute of Technology library is named the Goldsmith Library
In popular culture 
Two characters in the 1951 comedy The Lavender Hill Mob quote the same line from Goldsmith's poem "The Traveller" – a subtle joke, because the film's plot involves the recasting of stolen gold.
The Irish record label Deserted Village takes its name from Goldsmith's poem. It was co-founded by David Colohan, a native of Ballymahon www.desertedvillage.com
- Craig, Maurice (1952). Dublin 1650–1860. Allen Figgis & Co. Ltd. p. 184.
- 'A literary party at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, D. George Thompson, published by Owen Bailey, after James William Edmund Doyle, published 1 October 1851
- De Quincey Writings (ed) James Thomas Fields 1850–1855
- "Oliver Goldsmith: A Poet, Naturalist, and Historian, who left scarcely any style of writing untouched, and touched nothing that he did not adorn. Of all the passions, whether smiles were to move or tears, a powerful yet gentle master. In genius, vivid, versatile, sublime. In style, clear, elevated, elegant." Epitaph written by Dr. Johnson, translated from the original Latin.
- Dyachok, 2012, pages 341–342
- Rowley, 1978, page 132
- a copy of the sculpture but not the plinth is in the National Portrait Gallery, London ; the marble original with plinth is in the Royal Collection  . The descriptive label beside the copy in the National Portrait Gallery reads: 'Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in Anglo-Saxon Dress. Apparently prompted by a suggestion of Victoria, the Crown Princess of Prussia' ( Victoria, Princess Royal ) 'this sculpture is thought to symbolise the ties between the German and English peoples from Anglo-Saxon times to the marriage of the Royal couple. By William Theed (1804–91). Plaster cast from the marble executed 1863-7. Lent by H.M. The Queen.'
- The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith (ed) Austin Dobson, 1887, kindle ebook March 2011 ASIN B004TP31VM
- Marx in Soho, Howard Zinn 1999, South End Press
- Austin Dobson, Henry (Editor) The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith, ISBN 1-58827-277-X
- Campbell, Gordon (ed.), Oliver Goldsmith (Everyman's Poetry Series), ISBN 0-460-87827-1
- Connellan, J.A., Oliver Goldsmith of Elphin, Published for the Goldsmith Society (1935)
- Forster, John, The life and times of Oliver Goldsmith, Published by: Ward, Lock and Co (London, New York, 1848)
- Goldsmith, Oliver, The Vicar of Wakefield, ISBN 0-19-283940-3
- Goldsmith, Oliver, She Stoops to Conquer, ISBN 0-486-26867-5
- Irving, Washington, Life of Oliver Goldsmith, ISBN 1-58963-236-2
- Prior, James, Life of Goldsmith, two volumes (London: John Murray, 1837) at Google Books
- Rousseau, George (1974), Goldsmith: The Critical Heritage (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1974). ISBN 0-7100-7720-3
- Rowley, Trevor (1978). Villages in the Landscape. Archaeology in the Field Series. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd. p. 132. ISBN 0-460-04166-5.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Oliver Goldsmith|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Oliver Goldsmith|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Works by Oliver Goldsmith at Project Gutenberg
- Essays by Oliver Goldsmith at Quotidiana.org
- The Deserted Village
- UNCG American Publishers' Trade Bindings: The Deserted Village
- Oliver Goldsmith: A Biography by Washington Irving from Project Gutenberg
- Goldsmith (English Men of Letters series) by William Black from Project Gutenberg
- An Essay on the Theatre; or, A Comparison Between Laughing and Sentimental Comedy
- Goldsmith Hall – student accommodation and lecture theatre, Trinity College, Dublin.
- Information on Goldsmith
- Oliver Goldsmith Resource
- Works by Oliver Goldsmith in e-book version
- The Goldsmith International Literary Festival Info on the Festival held annually in Goldsmith's Home County
- Poems and essays, Oliver Goldsmith, 1839, (William Smith, London)
- Oliver Goldsmith at Find a Grave
-  Oliver Goldsmith 'The Vicar of Wakefield'(Tatyana Dyachok, Minsk) (rus)] in pdf-version