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Dixon, Peter. Oliver Goldsmith Revisited. Boston: Twayne, 1991. Solid introduction to Goldsmith’s work in general and She Stoops to Conquer in particular. Details the biographical episode that inspired Goldsmith to write the comedy and ties the play to Goldsmith’s theories on dramatic writing.

Quintana, Ricardo. Oliver Goldsmith: A Georgian Study. New York: Macmillan, 1967. Enthusiastic and graceful study of Goldsmith’s work. Places less emphasis on the drama itself and more on the circumstances surrounding the play’s production and theatrical success.

Sells, A. Lytton. Oliver Goldsmith: His Life and Works. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1974. Examines Goldsmith’s life and offers a chapter on his writing the play and the problems he faced presenting it on the London stage. Offers two chapters on Goldsmith the dramatist and critically scrutinizes She Stoops to Conquer.

Swarbrick, Andrew, ed. The Art of Oliver Goldsmith. London: Vision Press, 1984. Ten essays touching on all aspects of Goldsmith’s writings. Contains Bernard Harris’ engaging “Goldsmith in the Theatre,” examining Goldsmith’s dramatic career, theater philosophy, and difficulties in staging She Stoops to Conquer.

Worth, Katharine. Sheridan and Goldsmith. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992. Intelligent investigation of the playwriting careers of Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, with special attention given to Goldsmith’s intense dislike of the prevailing sentimental comedy. Long chapter on She Stoops to Conquer is an excellent discussion of the boisterous play.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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Bevis, Richard. "Oliver Goldsmith" in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 89: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Dramatists, Third Series, edited by Paula R. Backscheider, Gale, 1989. pp 150-69.
Presents extensive information about Goldsmith's life and how it relates to his writings. Traces Goldsmith's career from student to journalist to novelist, playwright, and poet, with discussion of all the major and much minor work.

Kroenberger, Louis Introduction to She Stoops to Conquer; or, The Mistakes of a Night, by Oliver Goldsmith, Heritage, 1964, pp. v-xi.
Kroenberger discusses reasons for the continued popularity of Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer, which he attributes particularly to its farcical elements.

Styan, JL "Goldsmith's Comic Skills" in Costerus, Vol 9, 1973, pp. 195-217
Styan situates Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer within the context of restoration and sentimental comedy, and analyzes the elements that contributes to the play's dramatic and comedic success. These elements include Goldsmith's manipulation of farce, absurdity, and exaggeration, and the creation of characters who must themselves act different parts (for example, Kate acts first as a dutiful daughter, then as a barmaid) Finally, Styan considers Goldsmith's development as a playwright, comparing the successful She Stoops to Conquer with the earlier, less successful The Good-Natur'd Man.

Media Adaptations

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 42

She Stoops to Conquer was adapted for film by Paul H. Cromelm in 1914.

It was also adapted into a one-act play in Schulenburg, Texas, in 1965.

Readings of Goldsmith's poems are included in a recording entitled Johnson, Goldsmith, Cowper, produced by Argo in 1972.


Historical and Social Context