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 (1707-1754) began his career as a novelist in 1740 with Shamela (written as a negative response to Richardson's Pamela). The following year, he published Joseph Andrews, with which he anticipates his masterpiece, Tom Jones. His final work, The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon, was published posthumously in 1755. Thomas Keymer is Elmore Fellow and Tutor in English at St Anne's College, Oxford. His books include Sterne, the Moderns, and the Novel (2002), and co-edited with John Mee, The Cambridge Companion to English Literature 1740-1830 (2004). Alice Wakely completed a doctoral dissertation on Samuel Richardson at Magdalen College, Oxford, and is currently at the University of York. Thomas Keymer is Elmore Fellow and Tutor in English at St Anne's College, Oxford. His books include Richardson's Clarissa and the 18th Century Reader (1992), Sterne, the Moderns, and the Novel (2002), and co-edited with John Mee, The Cambridge Companion to English Literature 1740-1830 (2004). Alice Wakely completed a doctoral dissertation on Samuel Richardson at Magdalen College, Oxford and is currently at the University of York. The editors have previously collaborated on the OUP World's Classics edition of Richardson's Pamela (2001).

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