Oliver Goldsmith: The Deserted Village

(2188 words)
  • Paul Baines (University of Liverpool)

Goldsmith had been worrying about changes in the way agriculture was organised in Britain for some years before he wrote The Deserted Village. He is probably the author of an essay entitled “The Revolution in Low Life” which appeared in Lloyd’s Evening Post, 14-16 June 1762, which anticipates the themes of the poem, and he had commented on depopulation in the countryside in his poem The Traveller (1764). His novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766) also gives a detailed picture of the vulnerability of rural life to power and money. From 1768 Goldsmith lived in a cottage at Edgeware, then in the countryside at some distance from London. He worked on The Deserted Village for about two years before its …

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Baines, Paul. "The Deserted Village". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 April 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1100, accessed 28 September 2016.]