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The Vicar of Wakefield (Kobo eBook)
Oliver Goldsmith's 18th century novel "The Vicar of Wakefield" was so popular in Victorian times that it is mentioned in many classics of that era including George Eliot's "Middlemarch," Jane Austen's "Emma," Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" and Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", amongst others. It is the story of Dr. Charles Primrose, the titular Vicar, his wife Deborah and their six children who live an idyllic life in a country parish. The Vicar who is wealthy due to investing an inheritance loses all his money when the merchant investor with which he is invested goes bankrupt and skips town with Dr. Primrose's money. This unfortunate event occurs on the eve of his son George's wedding to the wealthy Arabella Wilmot, causing the wedding to be called off by the Father of the Bride. "The Vicar of Wakefield" is often described as a sentimental novel, which displays the belief in the innate goodness of human beings. But it can also be read as a satire on the sentimental novel and its values.