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Tobias George Smollett 1721-1771 Scottish novelist was born in Dalquhurn Dumbarton County Scotland Smollett was born beneath a plane tree at Dalquharn House on the family estate of Bon hill in the Vale of Leven near the village of Renton Dumbartonshire At fourteen Smollett was apprenticed to a Glasgow doctor He studied medicine at Glasgow University and moved to London in 1740 He was a ships surgeon in the Carragena expedition against the Spanish in the West Indies and lived in Jamaica until 1744 when he returned to London and renewed his earlier attempts to stage a play he had written The Regicide but still met with no success He also failed to set up his own medical practice His first novel the partly autobiographical Roderick Random 1748 was an immediate success His best novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker 1771 has become a classic It is a story told in a series of letters about the travels of a family through England and Scotland Smollett was troubled by lack of money He spent his last years in poor health and died in Livorno Italy on October 21 1771 Two years later Johnson and Boswell stayed at Cameron House with Smolletts cousin James who was preparing to erect a Tuscan column in Smolletts memory at Renton Johnson helped compose the Latin obituary on the plinth and the column stood in what subsequently became the playground of a school Some of Tobias Smolletts work consists of The Tears of Scotland 1746 Poem on the defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Culloden The Adventures of Roderick Random 1748 Gil Blas Translation of LeSages novel 1749 The
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