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Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Irish novelist, playwright, and poet.

Goldsmith arrived in London in 1756, and took miscellaneous writing jobs in the hopes of fending off poverty. He achieved some minor success with The Citizen of the World (1762), a series of satirical essays describing English life through the eyes of a Chinese visitor. His first great success was "The Traveller" (1764), an attack on the treatment of the poor -- a theme also at the center of his "Deserted Village" (1770), which describes the ill effects of the increasing consolidation of agricultural labor on rural society. His novel The Vicar of Wakefield was published in 1766, and in 1773 his play She Stoops to Conquer appeared.