Henry Fielding

Tom Jones
  • Tom Jones

  • '"Sir, I am concerned at the Trouble I give you; nay indeed my Nakedness may well make me ashamed to look you in the Face ..." Jones offered her his Coat; but, I know not for what Reason, she absolutely refused the most earnest Solicitations to accept it'

    A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighbouring squire - though he sometimes succumbs to the charms of the local girls. But when his amorous escapades earn the disapproval of his benefactor, Tom is banished to make his own fortune. Sophia, meanwhile, is determined to avoid an arranged marriage to Allworthy's scheming nephew and escapes from her rambunctious father to follow Tom to London.

    Henry Fielding's vivid Hogarthian panorama of eighteenth-century life is spiced with danger and intrigue, bawdy exuberance and good-natured authorial interjections.

    The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Henry Fielding was born near Glastonbury on 22 April 1707. He was educated at Eton and became a prominent writer of plays, political satires and novels.He is regarded as a key figure in the development of the English novel.His most famous works are Joseph Andrews (1742), Tom Jones (1749) and Amelia (1751).Many elements in Tom Jones are based on Fielding's own experiences and the character of Sophia is based on his first wife, Charlotte. The Female Husband is a pamphlet that Fielding published anonymously in 1746. The story is based on the true case of a woman who was prosecuted for masquerading as a man and marrying another woman. Although he continued to write until his death, Fielding also worked as a magistrate from 1749 and was instrumental in paving the way for the foundation of London's Metropolitan Police Service. Henry Fielding died near Lisbon on 8 October 1754.


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