Henry Fielding (22 April 1707 – 8 October 1754) was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the novel Tom Jones .
Aside from his literary achievements, he has a significant place in the history of law-enforcement, having founded (with his half-brother John) what some have called London 's first police force, the Bow Street Runners. using his authority as a magistrate .
His younger sister, Sarah. also became a successful writer. [ 1 ]Writer: dramatist and novelist
Fielding was born at Sharpham and was educated at Eton College. where he established a lifelong friendship with William Pitt the Elder. [ 2 ] After a romantic episode with a young woman that ended in his getting into trouble with the law, he went to London, where his literary career began. [ 3 ] In 1728, he travelled to Leiden to study classics and law at the University. [ 2 ] However, due to lack of money, he was obliged to return to London and he began writing for the theatre, some of his work being savagely critical of the contemporary government under Sir Robert Walpole .
The Theatrical Licensing Act of 1737 is alleged to be a direct response to his activities. [ 2 ] [ 4 ] The particular play that triggered the Licensing Act was The Golden Rump . but Fielding's satires had set the tone. Once the Licensing Act passed, political satire on the stage was virtually impossible, and playwrights whose works were staged were viewed as suspect. Fielding, therefore, retired from the theatre and resumed his career in law and, in order to support his wife Charlotte Craddock and two children, he became a barrister. [ 2 ] [ 4 ]
His lack of financial sense meant that he and his family often endured periods of poverty, but he was helped by Ralph Allen. a wealthy benefactor who later formed the basis of Squire Allworthy in Tom Jones . After Fielding's death, Allen provided for the education and support of his children.
Henry Fielding. about 1743, etching by Jonathan Wild
Fielding never stopped writing political satire and satires of current arts and letters. The Tragedy of Tragedies (for which Hogarth designed the frontispiece) was, for example, quite successful as a printed play. He also contributed a number of works to journals of the day. He wrote for Tory periodicals, usually under the name of "Captain Hercules Vinegar". During the late 1730s and early 1740s Fielding continued to air his liberal and anti-Jacobite views in satirical articles and newspapers. Almost by accident, in anger at the success of Samuel Richardson 's Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded . Fielding took to writing novels in 1741 and his first major success was Shamela . an anonymous parody of Richardson's melodramatic novel. It is a satire that follows the model of the famous Tory satirists of the previous generation (Jonathan Swift and John Gay. in particular).
He followed this with Joseph Andrews (1742), an original work supposedly dealing with Pamela's brother, Joseph. [ 2 ] Although begun as a parody, this work developed into an accomplished novel in its own right and is considered to mark Fielding's debut as a serious novelist. In 1743, he published a novel in the Miscellanies volume III (which was the first volume of the Miscellanies). This was The History of the Life of the Late Mr Jonathan Wild the Great. This novel is sometimes thought of as his first because he almost certainly began composing it before he wrote Shamela and Joseph Andrews. It is a satire of Walpole that draws a parallel between Walpole and Jonathan Wild. the infamous gang leader and highwayman. He implicitly compares the Whig party in Parliament with a gang of thieves being run by Walpole, whose constant desire to be a "Great Man" (a common epithet for Walpole) should culminate only in the antithesis of greatness: being hanged.
Henry Fielding wrote "The Roast Beef of Old England", which is used by both the Royal Navy and the United States Marine Corps. in 1731. Richard Leveridge later arranged it. This version is performed by the United States Navy Band .
Problems playing this file? See media help .
His anonymously-published The Female Husband (1746) is a fictionalized account of a notorious case in which a female transvestite was tried for duping another woman into marriage; this was one of a number of small pamphlets and cost sixpence at the time. [ 5 ] Though a minor item in Fielding's total oeuvre. the subject is consistent with his ongoing preoccupation with fraud, sham, and masks. His greatest work was Tom Jones (1749), a meticulously constructed picaresque novel telling the convoluted and hilarious tale of how a foundling came into a fortune.Marriages
Fielding married his first wife, Charlotte Craddock, in 1734. [ 6 ] Charlotte, on whom he later modelled the heroines of both Tom Jones and Amelia. died in 1744. By her he had five children, of whom a lone daughter, Henrietta, would survive childhood only to die at the age of 23, having already been "in deep decline" when she married military engineer James Gabriel Montresor months before. Three years after Charlotte's death, disregarding public opinion, he married her former maid, Mary Daniel, who was pregnant. [ 4 ] Mary bore five children, three daughters who died young and sons William and Allen. [ 7 ]The law: jurist and magistrate
Despite this scandal, his consistent anti-Jacobitism and support for the Church of England led to him being rewarded a year later with the position of London's Chief Magistrate, and his literary career went from strength to strength. Joined by his younger half-brother John. he helped found what some have called London's first police force, the Bow Street Runners. in 1749. [ 8 ]
According to the historian G. M. Trevelyan. they were two of the best magistrates in eighteenth-century London, and did a great deal to enhance the cause of judicial reform and improve prison conditions. His influential pamphlets and enquiries included a proposal for the abolition of public hangings. This did not, however, imply opposition to capital punishment as such—as evident, for example, in his presiding in 1751 over the trial of the notorious criminal James Field. finding him guilty in a robbery and sentencing him to hang. Despite being now blind, John Fielding succeeded his older brother as Chief Magistrate and became known as the 'Blind Beak' of Bow Street for his ability to recognise criminals by their voice alone. [ 9 ]
In January 1752 Fielding started a fortnightly periodical titled The Covent-Garden Journal . which he would publish under the pseudonym of "Sir Alexander Drawcansir, Knt. Censor of Great Britain" until November of the same year. In this periodical, Fielding directly challenged the "armies of Grub Street " and the contemporary periodical writers of the day in a conflict that would eventually become the Paper War of 1752–3 .
Fielding then published Examples of the interposition of Providence in the Detection and Punishment of Murder (1752), a treatise in which, rejecting the deistic and materialistic visions of the world, he wrote in favor of the belief in God's presence and divine judgement, [ 10 ] arguing that the rise of murder rates was due to neglect of the Christian religion. [ 11 ] In 1753 he would write Proposals for making an effectual Provision for the Poor .
Fielding's ardent commitment to the cause of justice as a great humanitarian in the 1750s (for instance, his support of Elizabeth Canning ) coincided with a rapid deterioration in his health. This continued to such an extent that he went abroad to Portugal in 1754 in search of a cure. Gout. asthma and other afflictions made him use crutches. He died in Lisbon. reportedly in physical pain and mental distress, two months later. [ 4 ] [ 12 ] His tomb is in the city's English Cemetery (Cemitério Inglês ), which is now the graveyard of St. George's Church, Lisbon .Legacy
In the operetta Patience of 1881 by Gilbert and Sullivan. Colonel Calverley sings: "The humour of Fielding, which sounds contradictory".Partial list of works References
Henry Fielding is regarded as one of the greatest artists among English novelists of the eighteenth century and was instrumental in the emergence of the novel as a respected literary form. A debate has long raged regarding the relative merits of the novelistic forms developed almost simultaneously by Fielding and the London printer Samuel Richardson. Very different in upbringing and temperament, their literary innovations in prose fiction were often conceived in response to each other. While hardly the libertine he was long portrayed as being, Fielding certainly believed in enjoying life to the full.
As opposed to the middle-class Richardson, Fielding came of a genteel family and enjoyed an excellent education. He was born April 22, 1707, at Sharpham Park in Somerset, and was related to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Earl of Denbigh. In April, 1718, Henry's mother died and his father, Colonel Edmund Fielding, went away to London, leaving the children in the care of his in-laws, the Gould family. A year later Colonel Fielding married an Italian widow and attempted to regain custody of his children from his mother-in-law, Lady Gould. This led to a lengthy law-suit which was finally settled in 1722, granting Lady Gould the custody of her grandchildren and securing their mother's estate for Henry and his sisters.
After attending Eton, Fielding courted a young heiress, Miss Sarah Andrew of Lyme Regis, but failed to persuade her to elope with him. In 1727, his family lost much of their money through the dishonesty of a broker, and the young Fielding found himself in need of an income. Drama was the most lucrative genre of the time, and Fielding took advantage of his London connections, particularly Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, to gain an introduction to theater circles there. His first play, Love in Several Masques. was produced in 1728 at the Drury Lane Theater and published the same year. Despite this promising beginning, however, less than a month later Fielding enrolled at Leyden University, where he was entered in the faculty of letters. After only two years he returned to London, perhaps as a result of financial difficulties. Fielding's second play, The Temple Beau. (1730) was followed rapidly by three further plays, among them The Author's Farce, and the Pleasures of the Town and Tragedy of Tragedies, or the Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great. His farces were a great success, and his first season launched him on a prosperous career in the theater. Fielding wrote 25 plays in the eight years after his return to London, but for the most part these works have little literary merit. He did, however, adapt two works of Molière's to the English stage to great acclaim, The Mock-Doctor, or The Dumb Lady Cured and The Miser (1733).
In 1734 Fielding married Charlotte Craddock of Salisbury, whom he had known since at least 1730, when he dedicated some verses to her. He appears to have been quite enamored of her beauty and character and later modeled the heroine of Tom Jones. Sophia Western, on his first wife. In 1736, his first daughter was born; at about this time Fielding became a managing partner of the Little Theatre in Haymarket. From March to May of 1736 he also enjoyed a huge success with his political satire Pasquin, a Dramatic Satire on the Times. which ran for over sixty performances. In this play, he attacked the corrupt administration of Sir Robert Walpole in scenes depicting bribery in election procedures. This was followed by an even more outspoken satire, The Historical Register for the Year 1736 (1737), in which his thinly disguised attacks on members of the government became so sharp that authorities grew alarmed. This led to passage of the Licensing Act of 1737, which put drama under the direct control of the Lord Chamberlain (a law which was not changed until 1968). As Walpole had intended, this effectively ended Fielding's dramatic career.
He then turned to the study of law and in 1737 entered the Middle Temple. Despite a large inheritance from his wife's mother, Fielding once again found himself in financial straits and soon began editing an anti-Walpole periodical called The Champion, or British Mercury (1739-1741) under the pseudonym Captain Hercules Vinegar. Many of the articles on moral and literary topics which he wrote for this publication were forerunners of the introductory chapters in Tom Jones.
In 1740, the first two volumes of Richardson's novel Pamela: or Virtue Rewarded appeared, followed by two more volumes in 1741. What Fielding perceived as the self-serving, moralistic tone of the work provoked him to blast it in satire. An Apology for the Life of Mrs Shamela Andrews was published in 1741 anonymously but is generally considered to have been authored by Fielding. The main character in this parody displays a calculating cynicism, talking incessantly about her "Vartue" and cleverly refusing to surrender to the blandishments of her employer (who has been transformed from Mr B. in Richardson's work to Mr Booby in Fielding's) until she is properly married. Despite Fielding's initial rejection of Richardson's work it was to prove influential in shaping his development of the novel: from Shamela followed the comic romance about Pamela's reputed brother, The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews (1742). Intended as a parody of Pamela. with Lady Booby (the aunt of Richardson's squire) attempting to seduce Pamela's virtuous brother Joseph, it grew into much more than that. Despite their roots in parody, Joseph and his companion Parson Adams are characters in their own right, and Joseph Andrews a picaresque tale of innocents abroad. The influence of Cervantes is obvious and acknowledged: in the famous preface to the novel, Fielding called for a writing style in the artistic tradition of the "comic epic poem in prose" exemplified by Don Quixote. The novel also introduces the omniscient narrator, benign but satirical, which Fielding was to use to such effect in Tom Jones.
The favorable reception of Joseph Andrews inspired Fielding to bring out the following year a collection of essays, poems, plays, and prose fiction with the title Miscellanies (1743). Published as the third volume of Miscellanies was the satiric piece The Life of Jonathan Wild the Great. which has been called one of the finest examples of sustained irony in English fiction. The novel celebrates the rise and fall of a 'Great Man' (Wild was an actual London criminal who was hanged in 1725); a man who succeeds completely at his chosen field and thus achieves greatness. Fielding implies that by the rules of society, goodness is of no consequence to greatness. His contemporaries understood the parable as a political allegory on the recently ended career of Walpole as first minister.
During this period, Fielding's situation was less than enviable: he continued to have financial difficulties, his health began to fail him as a result of his excesses, and his wife was often ill. In 1744 Charlotte died in Bath of a fever. Although he deeply mourned Charlotte, Fielding married his wife's former maid, Mary Daniel, in 1747; she was six months pregnant at the time. In all, his second wife bore him five children, but three of them died young.
Through the influence of his friend George Lyttelton and the Duke of Bedford, Fielding became Justice of the Peace for Westminster and Middlessex in 1748, largely eliminating his financial woes. The regular contact with crime had a profound effect on him, which was to be of particular influence in his last novel, Amelia. In his writing, Fielding devoted himself largely to political pamphlets and essays during this time. His periodical publications True Patriot, and History of Our Own Time (1745-1746) and the burlesque Jacobite's Journal (1747-1748) were virulently anti-Stuart, written as a response to the Jacobite uprising of 1745. This event also served as the historical background in Fielding's greatest fictional work, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749), which he had already begun before he became a magistrate. It was reprinted almost at once and published again in a revised edition in the same year. The account of the fall and rise of Tom Jones, a vital but imprudent young man, is essentially a comic romance, rooted in the tried narrative conventions of romance and epic, but with an important difference. Tom is a bastard, 'a foundling,' with a generous heart but a weak will; by the standards of the time he is a rather unheroic hero. By writing about an 'ordinary' person, Fielding made high conventions freshly accessible to the new middle-class reading public of the novel. Blustering Squire Western, kindly schoolmaster Partridge, and amorous Lady Bellaston are among the many memorable characters bringing Fielding's deliberately new fictional form to life, and the tale of their foibles is infused with a morality of relaxed Christian benevolence. His humorous use of the devices of the picaresque tale, mock epic and romance in a narrative with a wide social range paved the way for the monumental novels of Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and William Makepeace Thackeray.
In his final novel, Fielding turned from an unheroic hero to an unusually positive heroine, but the tone of this novel, Amelia (1751), remains equivocal. The plot revolves around the domestic problems created by an improvident husband, William Booth, a well-intentioned but naive young man. (His resemblance to Tom Jones has been noted repeatedly by various critics.) His loving wife, Amelia, forgives him everything from gambling to infidelity, but the happy end in this novel appears strained. The tone is so different form Tom Jones that numerous suggestions have been put forth to explain it, such as Fielding's close contact with the seamier side of life in his job as magistrate or his failing health. The large cast of characters and comic spirit of Tom Jones are missing entirely. Nevertheless, Amelia has interested many modern readers precisely because of its ambiguous texture. The novel may have indicated a transition that would have become clearer if Fielding had lived longer, but by this time he was already chronically ill.
Fielding's last essay-periodical, The Covent-Garden Journal (1752), includes some of his most humorous pieces as well as two essays responding to literary attacks by Tobias Smollett. It was to prove to be Fielding's last publication during his lifetime. For nearly ten years he had suffered from gout, and he had devoted enormous energy to his job as magistrate, achieving numerous reforms which reduced robberies in his district and improved the state of the prisons. This demanding work took its toll, however, and by 1753 he could only get about with the help of crutches. In an attempt to regain his health, he set out for Lisbon in 1754 with his wife and daughter. Unfortunately, either the change of climate came too late or did him no good, and he died there Oct. 8, 1754. The journey is recorded with good humor and charm in his final work, Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon, which was published in 1755.
Fielding's influence on prose fiction and his place in the English literary canon has remained unshaken, but his relative importance has varied with changing modes in critical opinion on what novelistic fiction should do. While Samuel Richardson is seen as the psychological realist of the early novel, Fielding is the humorist, the inventor of the authorial narrative voice of scope and breadth. The Victorian novel is primarily in the tradition of Fielding, and the twentieth century novel primarily in the tradition of Richardson. Fielding has maintained a certain amount of popularity with readers, however, and his two most famous works have both been filmed, Tom Jones in 1963, and Joseph Andrews in 1977.
Other pages of mine:
Tom Jones is one of the earliest English novels, and was hugely popular when it was first published in 1749. It tells the story of the foundling Tom and his journey towards adulthood and marriage. As might be expected, this journey is a complicated one: Tom falls in love with a neighbour's daughter, discovers that he has a rival for his love in the shape of the unpleasant Master Blifil, and is expelled from Mr Allworthy’s house after a series of misadventures. His picaresque journey leads him to encounter a vivid cast of characters including robbers, soldiers, gypsies and untrustworthy lawyers - the latter perhaps an arch nod to Fielding's own legal career.
Yet the plot alone is only part of Tom Jones. The novel is written in a mock-epic style in which Tom’s adventures are paralleled with those of the heroes of Classical mythology: whole chapters are given up to seemingly irrelevant digressions, and the story is frequently underscored with a bawdy humour that led Samuel Johnson to comment that he 'scarcely knew a more corrupt work'. Fielding's influence can be seen on a number of later writers, most notably the great 19th-century novelists Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray.
You Have Not Saved Any Essays.Popular Topics
Henry Fielding's novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749) is told through the voice of a narrator. This third person perspective is quite different from the novels written by novelists Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson. Ian Watt, author of The Rise of the Novel (1957) argues that one reason Fielding's novel is problematic is because the novel distances itself from the reader through the third person narration; the novel has lost some of its realism. If the criterion for realism is psychological verisimilitude, then yes, the novel Tom Jones has lost a realistic quality. However, Watt does not say specifically that psychological verisimilitude is a criterion for the novel of the eighteenth century. Nor does he say that for the novel to be realistic the text must show a deep, disclosed psychological truth of the character(s). Watt has set up the premise that in the eighteenth century the text of the novel must follow the guidelines of realism. Watt has prescribed the text should be authentic, with detailed characters and particulars of the time and place of the characters actions1. Fielding's novel Tom Jones follows these minimal criteria; thus Fielding's novel is not in conflict with the criteria for realism laid out by Watt.
In The Rise of the Novel, the chapters preceding the analysis of Tom Jones, Watt hints at the importance of psychological verisimilitude in creating a realistic text. Fielding, contrary to Defoe and Richardson, does not delve deep into the psyche of his characters. Both Richardson's and Defoe's characters speak to us “from the heart” (such as through a journal or letters), the reader then receives a thorough account from the acting character. But Fielding does not provide a personal insight from the characters' perspective, rather we learn about the characters through their actions and words and through an objective narrator. This gives a realistic perspective of his characters as would be seen bEssays Related to The History of Tom Jones - Henry Fielding
name = Henry Fielding
pseudonym = "Captain Hercules Vinegar", also some works published anonymously
birthdate = Birth date|1707|4|22
birthplace = Sharpham. Somerset. England
deathdate = Death date and age|1754|10|8|1707|4|22
deathplace = Lisbon. Portugal
occupation = Justice of the peace. novelist, dramatist
nationality = English
period = 1728-1754
genre = satire. picaresque
movement = Enlightenment. Augustan Age
influenced = George Orwell
Henry Fielding ( April 22. 1707 – October 8. 1754 ) was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the novel "Tom Jones ".
Aside from his literary achievements, he has a significant place in the history of law-enforcement, having founded what some have called London's first police force, the Bow Street Runners. using his authority as a magistrate.
Born into an aristocratic family at Sharpham near Glastonbury in Somerset in 1707, Fielding was educated at Eton College. where he established a lifelong friendship with William Pitt the Elder. His younger sister, Sarah. also became a successful writer.
After a romantic episode with a young woman that ended in his getting into trouble with the law, he went to London where his literary career began.
In 1728, he travelled to Leiden to study classics and law at the University. However, due to lack of money he was obliged to return to London and he began writing for the theatre. some of his work being savagely critical of the contemporary government under Sir Robert Walpole.
The Theatrical Licensing Act of 1737 is alleged to be a direct result of his activities. The particular play that triggered the Licensing Act was "The Vision of the Golden Rump", but Fielding's satires had set the tone.
Once the Licensing Act passed, political satire on the stage was virtually impossible, and playwrights whose works were staged were viewed as suspect. Fielding therefore retired from the theatre and resumed his career in law and, in order to support his wife Charlotte Cradock and two children, he became a barrister.
His lack of money sense meant that he and his family often endured periods of poverty, but he was also helped by Ralph Allen. a wealthy benefactor who later formed the basis of Squire Allworthy in "Tom Jones ". After Fielding's death, Allen provided for the education and support of his children.
Fielding never stopped writing political satire and satires of current arts and letters. His "Tragedy of Tragedies" of Tom Thumb (for which Hogarth designed the frontispiece) was, for example, quite successful as a printed play.
He also contributed a number of works to journals of the day. He wrote for Tory periodicals, usually under the name of "Captain Hercules Vinegar".
As Justice of the Peace he issued a warrant for the arrest of Colley Cibber for "murder of the English language".
During the late 1730s and early 1740s Fielding continued to air his liberal and anti-Jacobite views in satirical articles and newspapers. Almost by accident, in anger at the success of Richardson's " Pamela ", Fielding took to writing novels in 1741 and his first major success was "Shamela ", an anonymous parody of Samuel Richardson 's melodramatic novel. It is a satire that follows the model of the famous Tory satirists of the previous generation ( Jonathan Swift and John Gay. in particular).
He followed this up with " Joseph Andrews " (1742), an original work supposedly dealing with Pamela's brother, Joseph. Although also begun as a parody, this work developed into an accomplished novel in its own right and is considered to mark Fielding's debut as a serious novelist.
In 1743, he published a novel in the "Miscellanies" volume III (which was the first volume of the Miscellanies). This was "The History of the Life of the Late Mr Jonathan Wild the Great."
This novel is sometimes thought of as his first because he almost certainly began composing it before he wrote "Shamela" and "Joseph Andrews". It is a satire of Walpole that draws a parallel between Walpole and Jonathan Wild. the infamous gang leader and highwayman.
He implicitly compares the Whig party in Parliament with a gang of thieves being run by Walpole, whose constant desire to be a "Great Man" (a common epithet for Walpole) should culminate only in the antithesis of greatness: being hanged.
His anonymously-published "The Female Husband" of 1746 is a fictionalized account of a notorious case in which a female transvestite was tried for duping another woman into marriage. Though a minor item in Fielding's total "oeuvre", the subject is consistent with his ongoing preoccupation with fraud, sham, and masks.
His greatest work was "Tom Jones " (1749), a meticulously constructed picaresque novel telling the convoluted and hilarious tale of how a foundling came into a fortune.
Charlotte, on whom he later modeled the heroines of both "Tom Jones" and "Amelia", died in 1744. Three years later Fielding - disregarding public opinion - married her former maid, Mary, who was pregnant.
Despite this, his consistent anti-Jacobitism and support for the Church of England led to him being rewarded a year later with the position of London's Chief Magistrate, and his literary career went from strength to strength.
Joined by his younger half-brother John. he helped found what some have called London's first police force, the Bow Street Runners in 1749.
According to the historian G.M. Trevelyan. they were two of the best magistrates in eighteenth-century London, and did a great deal to enhance the cause of judicial reform and improve prison conditions.
His influential pamphlets and enquiries included a proposal for the abolition of public hanging s. ["Words, Words, Words", From the Beginnings to the 18th Century, La Spiga languages, 2003 ] This did not, however, imply opposition to capital punishment as such—as evident, for example, in his presiding in 1751 over the trial of the notorious criminal James Field. finding him guilty in a robbery and sentencing him to hang.
However, Fielding's ardent commitment to the cause of justice as a great humanitarian in the 1750s, coincided with a rapid deterioration in his health to such an extent that he went abroad to Portugal in 1754 in search of a cure. Gout, asthma and other afflictions meant that he had to use crutches.
He died in Lisbon two months later and his tomb at the English Church may be visited. Despite being now blind. John Fielding succeeded his older brother as Chief Magistrate and became known as the 'Blind Beak' of Bow Street for his ability to recognise criminals by their voice alone.
Whereas Defoe and Richardson both attempt to hide the fictional nature of their work under the guise of 'memoirs' and 'letters' respectively, Henry Fielding adopted a position which represented a new departure in terms of prose fiction—in no way do his novels constitute an effort to disguise literary devices. In fact, he was the first major novelist to openly admit that his prose fiction was pure artefact. Also, in comparison with his arch rival and contemporary, Richardson, Fielding presents his reader with a much wider range of characters taken from all social classes.
Fielding's lack of psychological realism (i.e. the feelings and emotions of his characters are rarely explored in any depth) can perhaps be put down to his overriding concern to reveal the universal order of things. It can be argued that his novel "Tom Jones" reflects its author's essentially neoclassical outlook—character is something the individual is blessed with at birth, a part of life's natural order or pattern. Characters within Fielding's novels also correspond largely to types; e.g. Squire Western is a typically boorish and uncultivated Tory squire, obsessed with fox hunting, drinking and acquiring more property.
So Fielding's comic epic contains a range of wonderful—but essentially static—characters whose motives and behaviour are largely predetermined. There is little emotional depth to his portrayal of them, and the complex realities of interactive human relationships that are so much a part of the modern novel are of negligible importance to him. Perhaps the character we come to know best is the figure of the omniscient narrator himself (i.e. Fielding) whose company some of his readers come to enjoy. ["Words, Words, Words", From the Beginnings to the 18th Century, La Spiga languages, 2003 ]
* Fielding, played by John Sessions. satirically narrates the 1997 television adaptation of his own work " The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling ". His brother John Fielding also appears as the magistrate at Jones' trial.
* Fielding is the central character in the 2008 Channel 4 historical drama " City of Vice ", an account on the early cases of the Bow Street runners, which used Fielding's diaries as a source. Fielding was played by the actor Ian McDiarmid .
In Joe Wright's 2007 film adaptation of "Atonement" (novel by Ian Mcewan), Cecilia admits to Robbie that she "prefers Fielding anyday; he's much more passionate" as opposed to the other 18th century Romantic writers.
Partial list of works
* "Love in Several Masques" - play, 1728
* "Rape upon Rape" - play, 1730. Adapted by Bernard Miles as "Lock Up Your Daughters!" in 1959, filmed in 1974
* "The Temple Beau" - novel, 1730
* "The Author's Farce" - play, 1730
* "The Tragedy of Tragedies; or, The Life and Death of Tom Thumb" - play, 1731
* "Grub-Street Opera" - play, 1731
* "The Modern Husband" - play, 1732
* "Pasquin" - play, 1736
* " The Historical Register for the Year 1736 " - play, 1737
* " An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews " - novel, 1741
* "The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and his Friend, Mr. Abraham Abrams " - novel, 1742
* " The Life and Death of Jonathan Wild, the Great " - novel, 1743, ironic treatment of Jonathan Wild. the most notorious underworld figure of the time.
* "Miscellanies" - collection of works, 1743, contained the poem Part of Juvenal's Sixth Satire, Modernized in Burlesque Verse
* "The Female Husband or the Surprising History of Mrs Mary alias Mr George Hamilton, who was convicted of having married a young woman of Wells and lived with her as her husband, taken from her own mouth since her confinement" - pamphlet, fictionalized report, 1746
* " The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling " - novel, 1749
* "A Journey from this World to the Next" - 1749
* "Amelia " - novel, 1751
* "The Covent Garden Journal" - 1752
* "Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon" - travel narrative, 1755
* "Tom Thumb N.D."
The first collected edition [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_International_Encyclopedia ] of Fielding was "Works" (London, 1762); other editions are those edited respectively by Scott and Roscoe (Edinburgh, 1840), by Browne (London, 1871), by Gosse (New York, 1898), and by Saintbury (New York and London, 1902). Fielding's first biographer was Arthur Murray, whose essay on Fielding's life and genius was introduced in the first collected series. (See above). The best life is that of Martin Battestin and Ruthe Battestin, "Henry Fielding: A Life" (London & New York: Routledge, 1989).
* Lawrence, "Life and Times of Fielding" (London, 1855)
* Leslie Stephen 's admirable essay on Fielding in "Hours in a Library" (London, 1874-79)
* Linder, "Henry Fielding's Dramatische Werke" (Dresden, 1895)
The best survey of Fielding scholarship and criticism is by H. George Hahn, "Henry Fielding: An Annotated Bibliography" (Metuchen, NJ and London: Scarecrow Press, 1979). Full and excellent critical introductions to each of Fielding's important works will be found in G. E. Saintbury's edition of the "Works" (ten volumes, London, 1898).
* [http://www.classicistranieri.com/english/indexes/authf.htm Works by Henry Fielding ] in e-book
* [http://quotationpark.com/authors/FIELDING,%20Henry.html Famous Quotes by Henry Fielding ]
NAME= Fielding, Henry
SHORT DESCRIPTION= English Justice of the peace. novelist, dramatist
DATE OF BIRTH= birth date|1707|4|22|mf=y
PLACE OF BIRTH= Sharpham. Glastonbury. England
DATE OF DEATH= October 8. [1754
PLACE OF DEATH= Lisbon
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For all which I shall not look on myself as accountable to any court of critical jurisdiction whatever: for as I am, in reality, the founder of a new province of writing, so I am at liberty to make what laws I please therein. And these laws, my readers, whom I consider as my subjects, are bound to believe in and to obey; with which that they may readily and cheerfully comply, I do hereby assure them that I shall principally regard their ease and advantage in all such institutions: for I do not, like a jure divino tyrant, imagine that they are my slaves, or my commodity. I am, indeed, set over them for their own good only, and was created for their use, and not they for mine. Nor do I doubt, while I make their interest the great rule of my writings, they will unanimously concur in supporting my dignity, and in rendering me all the honour I shall deserve or desire. (2.1.6)
This passage gives us a great example of Fielding's tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. If you read this passage literally, the narrator says: (1) I'm the boss, so I have the right to make up any rules I want about my new style of writing; (2) as readers, you have to follow my rules; (3) but I'm only bossing you around for your own good! (4) So I'm sure that you will all praise me just like I deserve.
And yet, there is a contradiction here: how can a "tyrant"rule over people "for their own good"? The contradiction here lets us know, hey, Fielding is being funny here. He's dripping sarcasm: he doesn't expect us (the readers) to obey him, and he doesn't expect us to praise him as he "shall deserve or desire." So—how much of this passage (if any) do you think we can read as straightforward? Why might Fielding present even his essays in this sly, funny, and above all not literal manner?Quote #2
As truth distinguishes our writings from those idle romances which are filled with monsters, the productions, not of nature, but of distempered brains; and which have been therefore recommended by an eminent critic to the sole use of the pastry-cook; so, on the other hand, we would avoid any resemblance to that kind of history which a celebrated poet seems to think is no less calculated for the emolument of the brewer, as the reading it should be always attended with a tankard of good ale. (4.1.1)
Tom Jones is a novel, which means (of course) that it's fictional. This is Literary Analysis 101: novels = not true. But Henry Fielding also says that Tom Jones *is* true: "truth distinguishes [his] writings." So how can Tom Jones be both fictional and true? It all depends on how you define "truth." For Fielding (at least in this passage), truth means "of nature." In other words, what makes Tom Jones true is that its plots and characters don't go against what we supposedly know in real life about human nature. Fielding wants us to distinguish Tom Jones from "idle romances which are filled with monsters. The "truth" lies in the novel's closeness to possible lived experience.
But using these standards, what would happen to the Harry Potters and the Hunger Games that make up our current literary landscape? Or would these books still be valuable according to Fielding, since they focus on human nature even against a backdrop of sci-fi and/or fantasy? Do you think that fiction is at its best (or its most serious) when it sidesteps "monsters"?Quote #3
As a vast herd of cows in a rich farmer's yard, if, while they are milked, they hear their calves at a distance, lamenting the robbery which is then committing, roar and bellow; so roared forth the Somersetshire mob an hallaloo, made up of almost as many squalls, screams, and other different sounds as there were persons, or indeed passions among them: some were inspired by rage, others alarmed by fear, and others had nothing in their heads but the love of fun; but chiefly Envy, the sister of Satan, and his constant companion, rushed among the crowd, and blew up the fury of the women; who no sooner came up to Molly than they pelted her with dirt and rubbish. (4.8.6)
Tom Jones is supposed to be (mostly) realistic. But it's also a comedy, which means that some of the plot twists have to be exaggerated to make the reader laugh. In this passage, we have this ridiculous scene where the village women are so jealous and annoyed at Molly that they actually throw garbage at her. This is obviously a completely unrealistic depiction of the way people normally interact with each other—especially once Molly picks up a skull from a fresh grave nearby to throw at her attackers. Though, we can't say—maybe throwing garbage and skulls was like the eighteenth-century version of texting out an angry-face >:-(
So here's our question: why is this kind of super-exaggerated comedy still supposedly realistic, while werewolves and vampires are not? And how does Fielding's use of fancy language to present this ridiculous fight increase the comedy of the scene?People who Shmooped this also Shmooped.
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