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The Vicar of Wakefield
     

The Vicar of Wakefield

3.2 19
by Oliver Goldsmith
 

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There are an hundred faults in this Thing, and an hundred things might be said to prove them beauties. But it is needless. A book may be amusing with numerous errors, or it may be very dull without a single absurdity. The hero of this piece unites in himself the three greatest characters upon earth; he is a priest, an husbandman, and the father of a family. He is

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There are an hundred faults in this Thing, and an hundred things might be said to prove them beauties. But it is needless. A book may be amusing with numerous errors, or it may be very dull without a single absurdity. The hero of this piece unites in himself the three greatest characters upon earth; he is a priest, an husbandman, and the father of a family. He is drawn as ready to teach, and ready to obey, as simple in affluence, and majestic in adversity. In this age of opulence and refinement whom can such a character please? Such as are fond of high life, will turn with disdain from the simplicity of his country fire-side. Such as mistake ribaldry for humour, will find no wit in his harmless conversation; and such as have been taught to deride religion, will laugh at one whose chief stores of comfort are drawn from futurity.
- Oliver Goldsmith

Dr Primrose, his wife Deborah and their six children live an idyllic life in a country parish. The vicar is wealthy due to investing an inheritance he received from a deceased relative, and the vicar donates the £34 that his job pays annually to local orphans and war veterans. On the evening of his son George's wedding to wealthy Arabella Wilmot, the vicar loses all his money through the bankruptcy of his merchant investor who left town with his money.

The wedding is called off by Arabella's father, who is known for his prudence with money. George, who was educated at Oxford and is old enough to be considered an adult, is sent away to town. The rest of the family move to a new and more humble parish on the land of Squire Thornhill, who is known to be a womanizer. On the way, they hear about the dubious reputation of their new landlord. Also, references are made to the squire's uncle Sir William Thornhill, who is known throughout the country for his worthiness and generosity.

A poor and eccentric friend, Mr. Burchell, whom they meet at an inn, rescues Sophia from drowning. She is instantly attracted to him, but her ambitious mother does not encourage her feelings.

Then follows a period of happy family life, interrupted only by regular visits of the dashing Squire Thornhill and Mr. Burchell. Olivia is captivated by Thornhill's hollow charm, but he also encourages the social ambitions of Mrs. Primrose and her daughters to a ludicrous degree.

Finally, Olivia is reported to have fled. First Burchell is suspected, but after a long pursuit Dr. Primrose finds his daughter, who was in reality deceived by Squire Thornhill. He planned to marry her in a mock ceremony and leave her then shortly after, as he had done with several women before.

When Olivia and her father return home, they find their house in flames. Although the family has lost almost all their belongings, the evil Squire Thornhill insists on the payment of the rent. As the vicar cannot pay, he is brought to gaol.

Afterwards is a chain of dreadful occurrences. The vicar's daughter, Olivia, is reported dead, Sophia is abducted, and George too is brought to gaol in chains and covered with blood, as he had challenged Thornhill to a duel when he had heard about his wickedness.

But then Mr. Burchell arrives and solves all problems. He rescues Sophia, Olivia is not dead, and it emerges that Mr. Burchell is in reality the worthy Sir William Thornhill, who travels through the country in disguise. In the end, there is a double wedding: George marries Arabella, as he originally intended, and Sir William Thornhill marries Sophia. Squire Thornhill's servant turns out to have tricked him, and thus the sham marriage of the Squire and Olivia is real. Finally, even the wealth of the vicar is restored, as the bankrupt merchant is reported to be found.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940014732390
Publisher:
DB Publishing House
Publication date:
06/19/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
161
File size:
455 KB

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The Vicar Of Wakefield 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A delightful tale of the calamities that beset an 18th century English vicar. The story is fast moving and told with wit and humor. The language is archaic but this adds to the charm of the story rather than being an annoyance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this book pretty well! It is quite interesting actually! I had to read it for school...like it so far!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book.
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Byrnie More than 1 year ago
It was a good short read. This copy didn't have that many errors that are found in free copies.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Vicar of Wakefield' is a Humourous, but Sad book. This is the tale of an 18th century Vicar and his family and the hardships they have to face; the deaths int heir family, the kidnappings, the loss of their small fortune are turned into nearly comical insidents with Oliver Goldsmith's language which turns from sarcastic to serious, from sad to angry. It is a truly delightful book and as I read it when I was eleven years of age I would recommend it to anyone of that age and up, but it depends oin your readoing level.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full disclosure: I have not yet read "The Vicar of Wakefield." I wanted to sample it before deciding to read it, so I took advantage of the Nook's free sample option to see if this might interest me. Barnes and Noble editions almost always have an introduction from an academic on the significance of the work to be presented. In the case of this novel, the introduction took up the entire sample, and like many of the Barnes and Noble introductions, contained many "plot spoilers" that defeated the purpose of reading the book in the first place. I strongly recommend that B & N make the introductions more along the lines of afterwords and let the sample be a sample of the novel and not some Ivory Tower lecture.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No gun scenes very cliche and poor vocabulary misused the word "it" "their" and "butt"- my 4 year old wyniquewah knows better than that- DONT READ UNLESS YOULL DIE IN AN ULTIMATUM WHEN THEY FORCE YOU TO READ IT LIVE LAUGH LOVE