The Vicar of Wakefield


Read by Martin Clifton

(4.5 stars; 79 reviews)

Published in 1766, 'The Vicar of Wakefield' was Oliver Goldsmith's only novel. It was thought to have been sold to the publisher for £60 on Oliver Goldsmith's behalf by Dr Johnson to enable Goldsmith to pay off outstanding rent and to release himself from his landlady's arrest.

It is the story of the family of Dr Primrose, a benevolent vicar, and follows them through their fall from fortune and their ultimate rise again. The story provides insight into family life and circumstances in the mid 18th century and the plot has many aspects of a pantomime like quality: Impersonation, deception, an aristocratic villain and the abduction of a beautiful heroine.

Goldsmith himself dissipated his savings on gambling whilst a student at Trinity College Dublin and subsequently travelled in Europe sustaining himself by playing the flute and disputing doctrinal matters in monasteries and universities. Later he worked as an apothecary's assistant, a doctor and a school usher (experiences shared in this story by Dr Primrose's son).
(Summary by Martin Clifton) (6 hr 23 min)

Chapters

Chapter 01 9:13 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 02 8:11 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 03 14:43 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 04 7:28 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 05 7:59 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 06 7:28 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 07 8:51 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 08 11:45 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 09 7:21 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 10 9:03 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 11 9:57 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 12 10:43 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 13 7:13 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 14 12:47 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 15 10:26 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 16 11:35 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 17 15:51 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 18 9:20 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 19 17:23 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 20 30:18 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 21 17:05 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 22 8:15 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 23 9:42 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 24 9:41 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 25 9:08 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 26 10:16 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 27 8:26 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 28 20:49 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 29 9:56 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 30 15:55 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 31 30:00 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 32 6:31 Read by Martin Clifton

Reviews

Best Novel I Have EVER heard!!!!!


(5 stars)

It makes sense why this book was called the most read novel of the 18th century and why Charles Dickens and Jane Austen mentioned this book in their text. After listening to it, it is no doubt the best novel I have ever listened to. It is so rich in text, dialogue, we'll developed characters, surprise twist. Etc. This book should easily be made into a motion picture, or a mini-series by BBC or someone of the like. I know it would be an instant hit!!!

Melodrama adds color to 18th Century life


(5 stars)

Their hopes are lifted, their hopes are dashed, their hopes are lifted, and again dashed. It's quite the melodrama, but it put a bit of color into some of the dry history of the 18th Century (such as life in a debtor's prison, the harsh penalties put on the poor for minor offenses, and the impunity of the rich so long as their malefaction is limited to the poor and they do not cross the rich). And all the while, Martin Clifton's steady, clear voice carries us through as though the Vicar himself was speaking to us. This is a perfect match of Librivox reader and text and I found it very enjoyable to listen to.

Another excellent recording by Mr Clifton


(5 stars)

Once again Martin Clifton delivers a perfect reading of Oliver Goldsmith’s touching novel. “The Vicar of Wakefield” features the tale of the fall and rise of Dr Primrose and his family. The novel offers an interesting insight into 18th century England and is certainly one of the great classics of European literature. A highly recommended listening to all lovers of good literature.

Excellent


(4.5 stars)

An interesting moral tale of the times, when despite his misfortunes, Dr Primrose, who "chose his wife as she did her wedding gown, not for fine glossy surfaces, but because it would be hard wearing" is, with his family, put through various misfortunes, each worse than the previous. He maintains a positive attitude throughout them all. Exceedingly clearly and well read by Mr Clifton.

Engrossing Story of Perseverance


(5 stars)

My goodness this was an entertaining listen! The narration was flawless and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. As one reviewer points out it starts a bit slow but the story will grab you and keep you listening. Mr. Clifton is one of the best narrators I’ve ever heard! Many, many thanks.

Martin Clifton is one of my favorite readers


(5 stars)

...and this is another one of his excellent readings...only one thing...I keep lapsing into thinking it's a sequel to *Diary of a Loser*, which is my favorite Librivox humorous book along with Rick Rodstrom's *You Know Me Al*.

A clear and concise summary


(4 stars)

An engrossing description of life of the period, with detailed social colour, somewhat distant emotions and much doctrinaire pontificating. An appealing and human story, however, and satisfyingly presented


(5 stars)

A beautifully read tale with much to discuss in the way of religion, morality, and social mores, and personal ethics; not to mention the sort of satisfying ending that never gets old.