Week 32: The Vicar of Wakefield
The Vicar of Wakefield, by Oliver Goldsmith
I hadn't read this book since college, and I found a neat edition illustrated by Arthur Rackham for cheap! This antique book has the same cover illustration, but mine is a paperback.
This is a comedy of sorts, narrated by the good Vicar Primrose himself. He and his family are very nice people, and very silly, though they do not know it. They do absurd things, and the vicar preaches at everyone all the time--in a very well-meaning way--and their fortunes get lower and lower until you think it isn't a comedy at all. But it is, so hold out for the happy ending.
The Vicar of Wakefield 's popularity lasted for generations. It's one of the early novels of the 18th century, and it's not at all difficult to read, so if you're looking to get into those first classic novels but find them intimidating, this is an excellent place to start.