John Massey Wright (1777-1866)
'The Return of Olivia, from The Vicar of Wakefield'
Bequeathed by Henry Spencer Ashbee
Museum no. 1918-1900
Goldsmith's novel, published in 1761-2, remained popular throughout the 19th century as it tapped into the vogue for domestic narrative and sentimentality. Olivia and Sophia, sisters but very different in temperament, were the subject of countless illustrations and images. This scene shows Olivia being welcomed back into the family following her elopement.