Tobias Smollett

(3192 words)

Born in Dumbartonshire, Scotland in 1721, Tobias Smollett was classically educated at Dumbarton Grammar School and at the University of Glasgow. From the age of 14, he served as a surgeon's apprentice in Glasgow, before leaving for London in 1739. As a surgeon's mate, he saw active service in the navy, notably during the bloody British defeat at Cartagena in the Caribbean. Following his return to Britain in 1741, Smollett practised as a surgeon in London while attempting, unsuccessfully, to establish himself as a playwright and poet before turning, in his late twenties, to the novel. Even after his youthful success with Roderick Random (1748) and Peregrine Pickle (1751), he still pursued a career in medicine – as surgeon …

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Ross, Ian Campbell. "Tobias Smollett". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2003
[, accessed 08 October 2015.]

Articles on Smollett's works

  1. The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom
  2. The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle
  3. The Adventures of Roderick Random
  4. The Expedition of Humphry Clinker
  5. The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves

Related Groups

  1. Picaresque narrative