Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I . . . chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well."
Told with a great deal of tongue-in-cheek humor and wit, The Vicar of Wakefield, published in 1766, features the delightfully innocent Dr. Primrose, a cleric who believes that kindness and virtue will always be rewarded. Surrounded by his wife and six children, Dr. Primrose lives a comfortable life, but he becomes the victim of theft when his broker runs off with all his...
Published on 29 Oct. 2007 by Mary Whipple

versus
10 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak
I really didn't find much to like in this book. I thought it was fairly predictable and comes out more like the plot of a pantomime than anything else. The villains are ultra villainous and the good people are ultra good and then there are those who are quite nice but a bit gullible. The Christian sentimentality didn't do a lot for me and the whole, "Whoops it's...
Published on 1 Feb. 2001 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley


Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I . . . chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well.", 29 Oct. 2007
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Vicar of Wakefield (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Told with a great deal of tongue-in-cheek humor and wit, The Vicar of Wakefield, published in 1766, features the delightfully innocent Dr. Primrose, a cleric who believes that kindness and virtue will always be rewarded. Surrounded by his wife and six children, Dr. Primrose lives a comfortable life, but he becomes the victim of theft when his broker runs off with all his investments, leaving him penniless, just as his son George is about to be married. When George's marriage is canceled due to his lack of prospects, the family moves to the country, where Dr. Primrose becomes vicar of a rural church.

One disaster follows another, involving Dr. Primrose and his family. The poor but kind Mr. Burchell, who saved daughter Sophia from drowning and befriended the family, later shocks Dr. Primrose by slandering the daughters and ruining their chances to become companions to two women in London. The sale of the family's only horses to a trickster leaves them virtually penniless. His older daughter Olivia is abducted and "ruined." The house catches fire, and their landlord demands his rent, knowing that the family has nothing. No matter how outrageous the calamities (and those mentioned above are only a sample), Dr. Primrose insists on seeing the bright side, even when there is no bright side. Virtue and goodness, he is convinced, will always be rewarded.

Owing as much to eighteenth century satiric comedy as to the developing novel, the story of Dr. Primrose and his family satirizes the sentimentality of early novels, such as Pamela, while it makes use of sentimental devices to further its plot. Poking gentle fun at Dr. Primrose for his innocence, Goldsmith never mocks or belittles him. Coincidence, mistaken identities, the humiliation of all the villains, innumerable surprises, and the restoration of Dr. Primrose's fortunes lead to the "deserved" happiness of Dr. Primrose and his family in the conclusion. Virtue is indeed rewarded, and evil is indeed punished. A gentle novel filled with charm, The Vicar of Wakefield feels like a "lady's novel," one which lacks the bawdy excess of Fielding and the unique humor of Sterne, while never taking itself too seriously. n Mary Whipple
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Faith and love conquers all..., 14 Aug. 2014
By 
os - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
`The Vicar of Wakefield' is part comedy of manners, part sentimental morality tale. Lovers of writers like Addison, Steele and Johnson will know that Goldsmith's efforts are directed towards instruction and enlightenment as much entertainment. The said Vicar and his family meet with many misfortunes in the course of this short tale until at last they are brought to the ultimate ruin of debtor's prison.Pride and naivety are the failings of Doctor Primrose.He fails to see that his learning and social standing are insufficient defense against a world of cheats,liars and lechers.But put against his hubris,his faith, his willingness to forgive his fellow man and his inability to sacrifice integrity for convenience and gain then you have a hero that we should all take pains to admire if not emulate.

The plot as far as it goes is a simple one and its conclusion perhaps all too pat. But what we might read`The Vicar of Wakefield' for and derive much pleasure from, is for its beautifully crafted style, its humour and characterisation. Who cannot but the love the good Vicar and his wife for both their foibles and wisdom? Who wouldn't hiss at the villainous Mr Thornhill and cheer at the arrival of Sir William? Goldsmith is an elegant a prose stylist as you will ever read. His learning and insight are conveyed with such a delicacy of touch that ensures that while we read we can't help but reflect on our own vanity and the changes in fortune that it might occasion. Recommended!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satire or fairy-tale?, 6 Jun. 2008
This review is from: The Vicar of Wakefield (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book because it stands the test of time and is still easy to read after 250 years! It is a satire on provincial politics, following the adventures of a country parson called Mr primrose. Although he is conceited and exasperatingly optimistic through awful experiences, Goldsmith can't resist finishing it off like a fairy-tale. Amusing, simple-yet-stimulating, and some impressive vocabulary. Someone who knows about political and social history would recognise its nuances. But it's an amusing read even if you don't.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Vicar of Wakefield, 15 Sept. 2010
By 
Neil Brough "Vonnegut Fan" (Around) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Oliver Goldsmith was one of the most worthwhile human beings who ever lived. He was a good friend of the great Dr Johnson and a good poet, writer and dramatist. The Vicar is one of his most amusing works and I recommend reading it twice. Those who are too trapped in the 21st century will find the second reading a must but a benefit.
Oddly, in the age of Victim-Lit, The Vicar has once again acquired a sheen of topicality. I guess this shows that good stuff never really dates.
Those who read this will not regret it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Wit and warmth, 15 Nov. 2014
Outwardly, Dr Primrose seems naive in his belief that goodwill is universal in mankind and it takes a theft of his possessions to start in process a whole change of unpredictable dilemmas which shatter his otherwise tranquil life.

And yet Goldsmith weaves in warmth and wit even when tragedy, particularly the abduction of his daughter, threatens to leave him a broken man, his innocence and faith are his rock.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak, 1 Feb. 2001
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
I really didn't find much to like in this book. I thought it was fairly predictable and comes out more like the plot of a pantomime than anything else. The villains are ultra villainous and the good people are ultra good and then there are those who are quite nice but a bit gullible. The Christian sentimentality didn't do a lot for me and the whole, "Whoops it's all be a big mistake!" denouement was utterly ridiculous and made any chance of dignity the rest of the plot may have had die a death there and then.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Vicar of Wakefield (Oxford World's Classics)
The Vicar of Wakefield (Oxford World's Classics) by Oliver Goldsmith (Paperback - 11 May 2006)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews