The Vicar of Wakefield
From Goldsmith’s writings, a reader can see that the focus centers on the simple agrarian life style of the yeoman farmer. This focus would be natural, since Goldsmith was born and raised in the rural culture of Ireland. Goldsmith and other pre-romantics had a cautious distrust for industrialism, while the Romantics had developed later a strong aversion toward the destruction of rural communities throughout England, Ireland, and Scotland. The Vicar of Wakefield discusses the loss of nobility, faith, and innocence. Oddly, The Vicar of Wakefield did not achieve any greatness until the 19th century. In his advertisement about the book, Goldsmith states, "The hero of this piece unites in himself the three greatest characters upon earth; he is a priest, an husbandman, and the father of a family." The protagonist is the sort of man that we can all admire. Through the character of Dr. Primrose, the reader will watch a man of honor try to combat the decay of his society around him by attempting to stay true to his own principles, even when he seems to fail to impress these principles upon his own family, particularly his wife and daughters.