Unfortunately due to his penchant for gambling he squandered his finances and ended up studying at Leyden University in Holland for a year. In 1755 he left Leyden and took a Degree of Medicine at Louvain.
Thereafter he travelled widely on foot throughout Italy, France and Switzerland and then returned to London in 1756 where he became a school master and began writing book reviews for magazines.
In 1759 he published a book of his own entitled ” An enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning in Europe” but it was the publication of his poem “The Traveller” that earned him his reputation as a writer of consequence and catapulted him into London’s intellectual and literary society.
His book “The Vicar of Wakefield” was published in 1766 followed by “The Good Natured Man” in 1768, his most famous poem “The Deserted Village” in 1770 and his comedy play “She Stoops to Conquer” in 1773. It is in these last too he focuses on aspects of rural life in sweet Auburn, (Co Longford), where he spent his youth.
He also wrote a number of historical and biographical works and at the time of his death on 4th April 1774 he was in the midst of creating “A History of the Earth and Animated Nature”.
After his death his friends paid for a memorial monument in Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey. The epitaph written by Samuel Johnson says “Oliver Goldsmith was one who left scarcely any kind of writing untouched, and touched nothing he did not adorn.” Trinity College Dublin also have a fine memorial statue in place in his honour.
The Goldsmith Literary Festival Committee host an annual event in honour of Goldsmith and his literary works. As part of this annual event, guided tours of Goldsmith country can be booked. However for those who wish to undertake a drive through Goldsmith country, visiting en-route not only the places of relevance to Oliver Goldsmith but also many historic, scenic and interesting places in Co Longford, See the Oliver Goldsmith Trail.