Oliver Goldsmith

Novelist, Author

1730 – 1774


Who was Oliver Goldsmith?

Oliver Goldsmith was an Irish novelist, playwright and poet, who is best known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield, his pastoral poem The Deserted Village, and his plays The Good-Natur'd Man and She Stoops to Conquer. 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".

Famous Quotes:

  • Whenever you see a gaming table be sure to know fortune is not there. Rather she is always in the company of industry.
  • No one but a fool would measure their satisfaction by what the world thinks of it.
  • For he that fights and runs away, may live to fight another day, but he, who is in battle slain, can never rise and fight again.
  • It seemed to me pretty plain, that they had more of love than matrimony in them.
  • Wisdom makes a slow defense against trouble, though a sure one in the end.
  • People seldom improve when they have no other model, but themselves to copy after.
  • Life at the greatest and best is but a froward child, that must be humored and coaxed a little till it falls asleep, and then all the care is over.
  • To aim at excellence, our reputation, and friends, and all must be ventured; to aim at the average we run no risk and provide little service.
  • If frugality were established in the state, and if our expenses were laid out to meet needs rather than superfluities of life, there might be fewer wants, and even fewer pleasures, but infinitely more happiness.
  • Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, where wealth accumulates, and men decay.

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Nov 10, 1730
  • Anglicanism
  • Kingdom of Ireland
  • Batchelor of Arts, Trinity College, Dublin
    ( - 1750)
  • University of Edinburgh
    (1754 - )
  • Leiden University
    ( - 1756)
  • Tobias Smollett
  • Proof-reader, Samuel Richardson
  • Usher, Peckham School
Lived in
  • County Roscommon
  • County Longford
Apr 4, 1774
Brick Court, London
Resting place
Temple Church

on July 23, 2013


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