Friday, June 15, 2007
The Vicar of Wakefield
"The Vicar of Wakefield" by Oliver Goldsmith
Straight from Wikipedia:
The Vicar of Wakefield is a novel by the Irish author Oliver Goldsmith. It was written in 1761 and 1762, and published in 1766. It is briefly mentioned in George Eliot's Middlemarch, Jane Austen's Emma, Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Charlotte Brontë's The Professor, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther as well as his Dichtung und Wahrheit. It is also mentioned in Dan Simmons's The Terror as a book brought along on the ill-fated Arctic expedition of Sir John Franklin, which the book takes as its source. (In actual fact a copy was found near some skeletons of the last surviving members of the expedition.)
This book was considered a "sentimental novel" and seems to have been popular. Life for the Reverened takes a turn for the worse. And things continue to get steadily worse and worse as time goes on. But the Reverend Primrose is an optimistic man who believes in the goodness of others and refuses to let his troubles dampen his spirit. It's a simple little book that tries to send the message that life is good.