The Vicar of Wakefield review É 3

summary The Vicar of Wakefield

Oliver Goldsmith's hugely successful novel of remained for generations one of the most highly regarded and beloved works of eighteenth century fiction It depicts the fall and rise of th. If I could I would give the first half of the book three stars At the halfway point the book takes a dramatic turn This I could deal with but as it progresses it gets all too didactic and preachy At the end the book turns again The final turn is incredibly bad The end destroys the book totally at least for me I cannot give this book anything but one star Nothing else is possible The audiobook narration is very good all the way through from start to finish This is a uick uick review but I will come back and explain a bit What is drawn here is provincial English life in the 1700s The central character and narrator of the story is Reverend Charles Primrose the eponymous vicar of the title He is telling readers of events in his own life and his family s He is a moral and loving family man He lives an idyllic life in a country parish with his wife and six children He is wealthy but at the start of the novel loses his wealth The man with whom the family s money had been invested goes bankruptand then disappears What will happen to the family This is the focus of the book The vicar is immediately shown to be a trusting man the result being he is deceived by many He is and remains kind and forgiving of othersThe story is plot oriented and action filled we watch the numerous scrapes family members encounter and then must overcome There are love intrigues the eldest son and two of the vicar s daughters are of marriageable age Swindles and dubious deals are to be coped with view spoilerFires and near drownings too hide spoiler

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The Vicar of Wakefield

E Primrose family presided The Vicar eBook #199 over by the benevolent vicar the narrator of a fairy tale plot of impersonation and deception the abduction of a beautiful heroine and th. It s father knows best 18th Century styleA relatively well off parson s family in mid 1700s England is forced into reduced circumstances and then really falls on hard times A contemporary and friend of lexicographer Samuel Johnson Oliver Goldsmith too was a lover of language He was a teller of tales and The Vicar of Wakefield is essentially just that a collection of stories tailored to fit linearly into this one novel As such there are occasional moments when the book veers from the main story for a moment and it becomes obvious that Goldsmith had a particular tale or some allegorical tidbit he wanted to feed his readers But it gets back on track and finishes by tying up ALL loose ends in a comically clustered finish Yes it can get a tad preachy and the all knowing father figure bores all but himself Ahhh but there s the saving grace The witty and humorous Goldsmith was clever enough not to create a flawless god like priest in the father who is blindly obeyed by his dutiful family No the dad is human He makes a mistake or two and is sometimes ignored by his wife and children like most dads through out the ages And that keeps The Vicar of Wakefield a relatable piece of work that has endured over time and influenced English writers like Jane Austen in the years following its publicationRating 35

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E machinations of an aristocratic villain By turns comic and sentimental the novel's popularity owes much to its recognizable depiction of domestic life and loving family relationships.. Much like the Biblical story of Job but in a nineteenth century English setting this tale of extreme misfortune suffered by an English vicar followed in the end by the restoration of his former life is a model for living through such extremes with exemplary alacrity The vicar is described as a natural born preacher who takes every opportunity to pontificate first to his family and later to his fellow debtor s prison inmates on the virtues of faithful patience when dealing with the calamities of life These exhortations are included in the text of this book which allows the reader to also be the recipient of these sermonsOne can take the novel s plot at face value and consider it to be a sentimental work containing a moral lesson However cynical critics have suggested that it is be a satire on such sentimentality and that it shows the uselessness of the vicar s pious values when dealing with the real sinful worldIn either case the highs and lows of this story are so extreme as to be only that which can happen in fictional literature Nevertheless it makes for a good story If you want a thorough description of this book s plot I suggest the following website main virtue of this book is its antiuity It was written from 1761 to 1762 and published in 1766 It was one of the most popular and widely read 18th century novels among Victorians The novel claims the distinction of being referenced in the writings of many other nineteenth century writers The following uote is taken from Wikipedia The novel is mentioned in George Eliot s Middlemarch Stendhal s The Life of Henry Brulard Arthur Schopenhauer s The Art of Controversy Jane Austen s Emma Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield Mary Shelley s Frankenstein Sarah Grand s The Heavenly Twins Charlotte Bront s The Professor and Villette Louisa May Alcott s Little Women and in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe s The Sorrows of Young Werther as well as his Dichtung und WahrheitI think these references show how widely this book was read during the nineteenth century It is still remembered today but its fame has not continued into the twentieth and twenty first centuries at that level


10 thoughts on “The Vicar of Wakefield

  1. says:

    You can't get very far into Victorian literature without tripping over references to The Vicar of Wakefield Either the novel's heroine is readi

  2. says:

    Time to retreat into the eighteenth centurya while back I read Antonomasia's review of The History of Tom Jones a Foundling and I thought to myself 'ah what about the Vicar of Wakefield was that not meant to be an

  3. says:

    If I could I would give the first half of the book three stars At the halfway point the book takes a dramatic turn This I could deal

  4. says:

    It's father knows best 18th Century styleA relatively well off parson's family in mid 1700s England is forced into reduced circumstances and then really falls on hard times A contemporary and friend of lexicographer Samuel Johnson O

  5. says:

    I know that this is a classic I had it recommended to me at a very early age by Louisa May Alcott via Jo March

  6. says:

    I was a bit surprised to learn that there was a debate over whether or not this 1766 Goldsmith novel is a satire I think if it is read as anything other than a satire its import is lost The humor hidden just beneath the surface is the only thing I can imagine would have garnered it its popularity or held its recognition over the years It was very popular in the 19th Century and has reportedly influenced many wr

  7. says:

    Description Oliver Goldsmith's hugely successful novel of 1766 remained for generations one of the most highly regarded and beloved works of eighteenth century fiction It depicts the fall and rise of the Primrose family presided over

  8. says:

    One of those books that changes over the decades It was especially interesting to read now given how many mentions of it show up in novels over the past two hundred years and how many well respected writers talk fondly about its light heartedness its mildness its being the uintessential English domestic novelOn this very spoilery reading I picked up how very tongue in cheek Goldsmith wrote satirizing class and social climbing a

  9. says:

    Much like the Biblical story of Job but in a nineteenth century English setting this tale of extreme misfortune suffered

  10. says:

    Our book club was looking for a light classic novel and I suggested this based on the good memories I had of reading it when I was younger I am not sure how the younger girls in the club will rate this book but wh