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May 16, 1896


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1896;XXVI(20):953-957. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430720005001a

The great difficulty in tracing out the history of the medical education of Goldsmith, particularly that portion of it which he is said to have acquired at Leyden and Padua, is due to the fact that no biography of him was written by his contemporaries. It is a remarkable circumstance that the greatest genius of his age, indeed one of the greatest of any age, should not have had a biographer until fifty years after his death, when Prior, his countryman and admirer, favored the world with his most interesting life of Goldsmith, the material of which was gleaned from many obscure and imperfect sources. This is more remarkable when we remember that he was pronounced the greatest poet of his time by Sir Walter Scott; that he had written the best novel of the century, according to Goethe; the best history in the opinion of Dr. Johnson (no mean