biographies – th. g. smollett

Thomas George Smollett was born on 19th March 1721. Son of a Scottish landowner, after training as a surgeon Smollett joined the navy and sailed to the West Indies as surgeon’s mate in 1741. His experiences supplied him with material for some of his books as he is still considered one of the first English novel writers together with Daniel Defoe. While in Jamaica he met and married Anne Lassells. Back in England he started his own surgeon’s practice (carrier di chirurgo) in London and began to write . Smollett’s publication was the poem The Tears of Scotland in 1746. With the birth of his only child, Elizabeth, Smollett devoted himself to write novels novelist. Unfortunately, his daughter Elizabeth died very young and his fortunes and health worsened (la sua situazione finanziaria e di salute peggiorarono ); he left for France and then Italy with his wife and returned to England only in 1766 with a lot of material and ideas for his next works. He continued visiting Italy in the following years and died at Monte Nero, near Leghorn in 1771. He is buried (è sepolto) in the English Cemetery in Leghorn. His masterpieces (capolavori) include The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748), a series of episodes built around the adventurous and combative hero; The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751), about a witty (sagace) and courageous scoundrel; The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves (1762), an analysis of various states of madness (pazzia) and to question conventional definitions of sanity through an 18th century Don Quixote and The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (1771) an epistolary novel about the adventures of a family travelling through England and Scotland.

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