"What Fanny told her of former times, dwelt more on her mind than the pages of Goldsmith"

 Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774) was an Anglo-Irish writer, poet and physician whose most famous work is the novel The Vicar of Wakefield. He also wrote the History of England (4 vols.), the History of Rome (2 vols.) and the History of the Earth and Animated Nature (8 vols.), all of which are now considered factually inaccurate. Jane Austen parodied his work during her 'teens with her own History of England.