Enlightenment in Ruins : The Geographies of Oliver Goldsmith, Paperback / softback Book

Enlightenment in Ruins : The Geographies of Oliver Goldsmith Paperback / softback

Part of the Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850 series


Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) moved between the genres and geographies of enlightenment writing with considerable dexterity.

As a consequence he has been characterized as a passive purveyor of enlightenment thought, a hack, a harried translator of the French enlightenment for an English audience, an ideological lackey, and a subtle ironist.

In poetry, he is either a compliant pastoralist or an engaged social critic.

Yet Goldsmith's career is as complex and as contradictory as the enlightenment currents across which he wrote, and there is in Goldsmith's oeuvre a set of themes-including his opposition to the new imperialism and to glibly declared principles of liberty-which this book addresses as a manifestation of his Irishness.

Michael Griffin places Goldsmith in two contexts: one is the intellectual and political culture in which he worked as a professional author living in London; the other is that of his nationality and his as yet unstudied Jacobite politics.

Enlightenment in Ruins thereby reveals a body of work that is compellingly marked by tensions and transits between Irishness and Englishness, between poetic and professional imperatives, and between cultural and scientific spheres.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 226 pages, 3 Illustrations, black and white
  • Publisher: Bucknell University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800
  • ISBN: 9781611486896

Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops