February 26, 1849 (Monday)

An exceedingly stormy and disagreeable day and evening, considering which I thought it would be the most comfortable to stay in the house.  Read “Goldsmith’s”  Comedy, “She Stooped [sic] to Conquer,” which in my opinion is a very excellent one.

Oliver Goldsmith (1730?–1774) was an Irish-born Englishman who studied and practiced medicine but earned his fame as an essayist, critic, novelist, poet and sometime playwright. As a member of Samuel Johnson’s Literary Club, Goldsmith became friends with Edmund Burke and Joshua Reynolds, among others. He is best known for his poems, The Traveller (1764) and The Deserted Village (1770) as well as his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766).  She Stoops to Conquer, or, the Mistakes of a Night written in 1773, is the second of Goldsmith’s plays.  In it, the shy, young Marlowe, who only feels at ease among barmaids and serving girls, is tricked into thinking Hardcastle Mansion is an inn. Miss Hardcastle, who has designs on Marlowe, poses as a barmaid and poor relation (thus stooping) to win his affections.  Although Marlowe abuses Mr. Hardcastle, the heroine’s father, thinking him an impudent innkeeper, all is forgiven at the end as all live happily ever after.  Goldsmith was a prolific writer and much of his work was subsequently printed in America.  The AAS, consequently, has extensive holdings.

She Stoops to Conquer

from Early American Imprints, Series 1, no. 12794.


“Oliver Goldsmith.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 20 Feb. 2011.

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