The Vicar Of Wakefield

Overview

Rich with wisdom and gentle irony, Goldsmith's only novel tells of an unworldly and generous vicar who lives contentedly with his large family until disaster strikes. But bankruptcy, his daughter's abduction, and the vicar's imprisonment fail to dampen his spirit. Considered the author's finest work, this book is a delightful lampoon of 18th-century literary conventions.
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The Vicar of Wakefield

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Overview

Rich with wisdom and gentle irony, Goldsmith's only novel tells of an unworldly and generous vicar who lives contentedly with his large family until disaster strikes. But bankruptcy, his daughter's abduction, and the vicar's imprisonment fail to dampen his spirit. Considered the author's finest work, this book is a delightful lampoon of 18th-century literary conventions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604247039
  • Publisher: Standard Publications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/6/2007
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author


Robert L. Mack has edited a number of volumes for Oxford World's Classics, including Burney's The Wanderer, and Oriental Tales. He is the author of Thomas Gray: A Life.

University of Chicago

University of Exeter

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Table of Contents

1. The description of the family of Wakefield; in which a kindred likeness prevails as well of minds as of persons 1
2. Family misfortunes. The loss of fortune only serves to encrease the pride of the worthy 3
3. A migration. The fortunate circumstances of our lives are generally found at last to be of our own procuring 6
4. A proof that even the humblest fortune may grant happiness, which depends not on circumstance, but constitution 11
5. A new and great acquaintance introduced. What we place most hopes upon generally proves most fatal 13
6. The happiness of a country fire-side 16
7. A town wit described. The dullest fellows may learn to be comical for a night or two 18
8. An amour, which promises little good fortune, yet may be productive of much 21
9. Two ladies of great distinction introduced. Superior finery ever seems to confer superior breeding 27
10. The family endeavours to cope with their betters. The miseries of the poor when they attempt to appear above their circumstances 29
11. The family still resolve to hold up their heads 32
12. Fortune seems resolved to humble the family of Wakefield. Mortifications are often more painful than real calamities 35
13. Mr. Burchell is found to be an enemy; for he has the confidence to give disagreeable advice 39
14. Fresh mortifications, or a demonstration that seeming calamities may be real blessings 41
15. All Mr. Burchell's villainy at once detected. The folly of being over-wise 45
16. The family use art, which is opposed with still greater 49
17. Scarce any virtue found to resist the power of long and pleasing temptation 52
18. The pursuit of a father to reclaim a lost child to virtue 58
19. The description of a person discontented with the present government, and apprehensive of the loss of our liberties 61
20. The history of a philosophic vagabond, pursuing novelty, but losing content 67
21. The short continuance of friendship amongst the vicious, which is coeval only with mutual satisfaction 76
22. Offences are easily pardoned where there is love at bottom 82
23. None but the guilty can be long and completely miserable 85
24. Fresh calamities 88
25. No situation, however wretched it seems, but has some sort of comfort attending it 91
26. A reformation in the gaol. To make laws complete, they should reward as well as punish 94
27. The same subject continued 97
28. Happiness and misery rather the result of prudence than of virtue in this life. Temporal evils or felicities being regarded by heaven as things merely in themselves trifling and unworthy its care in the distribution 100
29. The equal dealings of providence demonstrated with regard to the happy and the miserable here below. That from the nature of pleasure and pain, the wretched must be repaid the balance of their sufferings in the life hereafter 107
30. Happier prospects begin to appear. Let us be inflexible, and fortune will at last change in our favour 110
31. Former benevolence now repaid with unexpected interest 115
32. The Conclusion 125
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