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Oliver Goldsmith

(Pallas, Longford 1728-1774 London)
Irish playwright, poet, and apothecary’s assistant

Son of Charles and Anna Jones, Goldsmith’s father was an ecclesiastical rector of Anglo-Irish origin.  In 1745, Goldsmith entered Trinity College in Dublin, where he remained until 1750.  Goldsmith would express his time at Trinity as being arduous, marked by physical and moral harassment by colleagues and teachers.

Following his father’s death, Goldsmith fell into economic difficulties, forcing him to pause his education. With financial support of an uncle, Goldsmith was able to resume his studies.  Rejecting an ecclesiastical career, Goldsmith opted for medical studies, which he followed for two years at the University of Edinburgh and later in Leiden.  Goldsmith travelled throughout Flanders, France, Switzerland, and Germany. In 1755, attracted by the fame of Giovanni Battista Morgagni, he made his way to Padua.  In 1756, without the means or any career prospects, Goldsmith arrived in London where he practiced different trades, all the while cultivating his writing. Fame would come to Goldsmith in 1766 with the publication of The Vicar of Wakefield.

We owe to Goldsmith the proverb, “Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs (lies).

Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith

The restoration of Oliver Goldsmith’s canvas was supported by Morocolor Italia S.p.A.