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The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith

The Vicar of Wakefield (original 1766; edition 2008)

by Oliver Goldsmith, Arthur Friedman (Editor), Robert L. Mack (Editor)

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2,033343,292 (3.3)132
Title:The Vicar of Wakefield
Authors:Oliver Goldsmith
Other authors:Arthur Friedman (Editor), Robert L. Mack (Editor)
Info:OUP Oxford (2008), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library, Classic Fiction (pre 1945), To read

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The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith (1766)



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English (32)  French (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
What a struggle. I did not enjoy this at all, and even though it is under 200 pages it took me 2 full weeks to read.

The vicar is not a nice man (he dumps out his daughters' beauty concoctions, and finds it funny; he mocks the other prisoners as bad men--yet he is a prisoner too). The notes in my edition were great, and point out the many instances in the book where Goldsmith has reused key phrases from his past essays, etc. So he reused his own nonfiction writing, and cobbled it together with a really sappy story.

( )
  Dreesie | Apr 12, 2016 |
I couldn't believe how much bad stuff could happen to one family. I was relieved that it all turned out all right in the end, but to have that much misfortune followed by that much good fortune really turned me off of this one. This isn't a bad book, but there are better books from this period out there. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
A proper English novel that was very preachy and it felt like the values of the author were being shoved down my throat. Got through it, but I wouldn't recommend it. ( )
  KamGeb | Apr 4, 2015 |
Curiosity satisfied, but not really worth it. Written in the 1760s, here is the tale of a countryside vicar who falls upon hard times in the footsteps of Job and ... no, that's pretty much it. You've heard the Job story, so you know this one. It's also a satire of its times, so living in the 18th century is strongly recommended for a full appreciation.

The Vicar of Wakefield gets a mention in a ton of 19th century classics so I presumed it was something worth reading. It is, for the sake of sampling some English literature history - if you can tolerate a well-disguised climax that occurs halfway through, a whole lot of sermons, and such an avalanche of coincidences that even Dickens would say yeah, that's too much. There were a couple of funny bits, but today's newspaper probably rates the same amount. I still love the classics but I didn't love this. ( )
  Cecrow | Feb 9, 2015 |
Quite amusing satire of mid-eighteenth century English society. However, I didn't think it was as good as Goldsmith's famous play, "She Stoops to Conquer". ( )
  leslie.98 | Jan 9, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (71 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Goldsmith, Oliverprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Emslie, MacDonaldmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anhava, TuomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowlandson, ThomasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Sperate miseri, cavete faelices

[Hope, ye wretched, beware, ye prosperous]
First words
I was ever of opinion that the honest man, who married and brought up a large family, did more service than he who continued single, and only talked of population.
The jewels of truth have been so imported by others, that nothing was left for me to import but some splendid things that, at a distance, looked every bit as well.
That virtue which requires to be ever guarded is scarce worth the sentinel.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140431594, Paperback)

"The greatest object in the universe, says a certain philosopher, is a good man struggling with adversity."

When Dr Primrose loses his fortune in a disastrous investment, his idyllic life in the country is shattered and he is forced to move with his wife and six children to an impoverished living on the estate of Squire Thornhill. Taking to the road in pursuit of his daughter, who has been seduced by the rakish Squire, the beleaguered Primrose becomes embroiled in a series of misadventures – encountering his long-lost son in a travelling theatre company and even spending time in a debtor’s prison. Yet Primrose, though hampered by his unworldliness and pride, is sustained by his unwavering religious faith. In The Vicar of Wakefield, Goldsmith gently mocks many of the literary conventions of his day – from pastoral and romance to the picaresque – infusing his story of a hapless clergyman with warm humour and amiable social satire.

In his introduction, Stephen Coote discusses Goldsmith’s eventful life, the literary devices used in the novel, and its central themes of Christianity, justice and the family. This edition also includes a bibliography and notes.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:21 -0400)

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A vicar's simple faith sustains him through the trials and tribulations that beset his loved ones.

(summary from another edition)

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