Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith was a Loyalist poet and civil servant born in St. Andrews, NB on 6 July 1794. His great-uncle was the well-known Irish poet of the same name who wrote The Deserted Village (1770). That long poem would be significant in the younger Goldsmith’s life, for his most important work, the long narrative poem The Rising Village (1825, 1834), was a response to his great uncle’s poem. Whereas Goldsmith Sr.’s poem is of a crumbling society it concerns itself with rural depopulation and ends with dispirited Britons leaving for the New World Goldsmith Jr.’s maps the fortunes of settlers newly arrived. As a result, the older Goldsmith is rather pessimistic in tone and outlook, while the younger poet is guardedly optimistic, even utopian at times. Both share the message that disorder and avarice are the great social ills, and that success in the New World must follow the Loyalist ethos (Tory, land-based, and communal) that Old World citizens forgot. Central to that ethos in Goldsmith Jr.’s work is a plea to citizens to uphold Imperial attitudes and practices, lest they fall.

For the full Author Page on Goldsmith, click here.


The linked Author Page contains excerpts from the poem The Rising Village.