Oliver Goldsmith was born near Ballymahon, Co Longford in 1728. After a misspent youth, an undistinguished academic career in Trinity College Dublin, Edinburgh University and finally Louvain University he travelled on foot in France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy relying for survival on the benevolence of those for whom in return he played the flute and danced as a journeyman musician and entertainer.
In 1756 Goldsmith arrived in London. Poverty stricken and on the verge of starvation for many months, he finally found employment as a journalist. His work as a hack writer and his prodigious output ensured a meager survival while his real talents developed.
The play “She Stoops to Conquer” first produced in 1773 is timeless and staged on a regular basis. A production of this great work took place at The Abbey Theatre Dublin in January 2015. Goldsmith excelled at the three great disciplines of creative writing, as poet, novelist and playwright and indeed his genius was recognised by his contemporary literati.