Oliver Goldsmith



A well educated Irishman with a medical degree and little skill or taste for medicine, Oliver Goldsmith found himself in London, trying to make it as a periodical contributor when he made his first break through with a book of satirical essays, The Citizen of the World (1762). The book opened doors and provided the financial means wherewith to pursue his writing career while he practiced medicine. He published The Traveler in 1764, and then The Deserted Village in 1770. He published his two most famous works, comedies, The Good-natur'd Man and She Stoops to Conquer in 1768 and 1773 respectively. Throughout his life in London he worked as an apothecary's assistant, and between that and his writing, he made a fair living. However, gambling habits and bad money management made life difficult for him. Thankfully he was a better writer than he was a physician, for reports suggest that his own personal misdiagnoses of a kidney problem may have caused his death.

(Compiled by Joey Franklin)

See also

Essays by Oliver Goldsmith

A city night piece

Tenderness, without a capacity of relieving, only makes the man who feels it more wretched than the object which sues for assistance.

The sagacity of certain insects

Of all the solitary insects I have ever remarked, the spider is the most sagacious, and its motions to me, who have attentively considered them, seem almost to exceed belief.

Sights and monsters

By their fondness of sights, one would be apt to imagine, that instead of desiring to see things as they should be, they are rather solicitous of seeing them as they ought not to be.
Patrick Madden's New Book
Quotidiana by Patrick Madden

Quotidiana site founder Patrick Madden has just published a book of his own personal essays, including pieces formerly published in the Best American Spiritual Writing and Best Creative Nonfiction anthologies. If you enjoy the classical essays on this site, you'll enjoy these contemporary ruminations as well. Soon there'll be a web page here with further information, but for now, you can find out more (and perhaps purchase a copy) at Amazon.com.

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2011 Symposium on the Essay
Welcome Table Press Symposium on the Essay

Friend of Quotidiana Kim Dana Kupperman's Welcome Table Press is hosting a one-day symposium at Fordham University on Saturday, October 15th, 2011. In Praise of the Essay: Practice & Form will feature talks and discussions by Phillip Lopate, Robin Hemley, Barbara Hurd, and more.


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