Goldsmith's critical heritage is neither fruitful nor sanguine. It has preoccupied itself so consistently with the author's personal weaknesses and so triflingly with his strictly literary attainments, that one wonders -especially an editor-whether the 'heritage' is worth compiling. Throughout my search for relevant materials I continued to hope that enough documents would present themselves to make the arduous road worth travelling. But as I compiled, it became painfully clear that Goldsmith-the-writer, as opposed to the 'other Goldsmiths' (the pauper, the unlucky Irishman, the down-trodden hack), had attracted a paucity of thinkers: Goethe, Johnson, Scott, Thackeray, Hunta handful of important names but not nearly enough to constitute a tradition, a school, and, much less, a genuine 'critical heritage.' The scarcity of important criticism was so overwhelming that I could not help believe, in advance as it were, that those reviewers who would savage me, would have good reason. Other volumes in this series had already experienced a sad fate at the hand of reviewers,! despite the fact that the critical heritage of their authors had been much more impressive than Goldsmith's.