Smollet, Tobias

BORN 16 Mar 1721, Dalquhurn, West Dunbartonshire - DIED 17 Sep 1771, Livorno, Toscana
GRAVE LOCATION Livorno, Toscana: Antico Cimitero degli Inglesi, Via Giuseppe Verdi

Tobias Smollet was the fourth son of Archibald Smollet, a judge and land-owner. He studied at Glasgow University and qualified as a surgeon. But his literary interests prevailed and in 1739 he went to London to work as a dramatist. This was no success and he sailed as a surgeon with the HMS Chichester to Jamaica. After his return he married the Jamaican heiress Anne Lascelles (1721-1791) in 1747. Their only daughter Eliazbeth died around 1762.

His first published work was a poem "The Tears of Scotland" about the Battle of Culloden. He made himself a name with his "The Adventures of Roderick Random" (1748). He travelled to France whewre he found inspiration for his successful second novel "The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle" (1751). He returned to London and his books were published by Andrew Millar. He knew people like David Garrack, Laurence Stern and Samuel Johnson.

From 1757 to 1765 he worked on "A Complete History of England". He served a short prison sentence for libel. His last novel was "The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771)". He had intestinal problems and after a cure in Bath he went to Italy. He died in Livorno and was buried in the English Cemetery in that city.


The grave of Tobias Smollet at the Antico Cimitero degli Inglesi, Livorno.
Picture by Androom (17 Feb 2018)


Antico Cimitero degli Inglesi - Wikipedia
Tobias Smollett - Wikipedia

Snow, John

Published: 25 Nov 2018
Last update: 22 Dec 2019