The poems, plays, and political writings in this volume are essential to an understanding of Smollett and the literary and social currents of eighteenth-century England. In his introductions to the sections, Gassman traces the history of their publication and reception, and provides extensive explanations of historical and literary allusions.
Novelist, playwright, journalist, historian, travel writer, critic, translator, editor, and compiler, Tobias Smollett (1721-1771) was an eighteenth-century man of letters in the fullest sense of the phrase. Though his writings have been variously gathered together over the last two centuries, no definitive scholarly edition of Smollett's works has ever been published. The Georgia edition, though not a complete collection, includes all of those writings by which Smollett was best known in his own time and by which he is best remembered in ours.