One of the first and most influential of English novels, Henry Fielding's "Tom Jones "published in 1749 is blessed with a lively and endearing hero at the center of one of the most ingeniously constructed comic plots in fiction.
Tom Jones, a foundling brought up in the household of the benevolent Squire Allworthy, falls in love with the beautiful heiress Sophia Western, whose father forbids them to marry on grounds of Tom's low birth. Tom is a lusty, high-spirited yet good-hearted soul, and after he is banished by his guardian for youthful misbehavior he heads to London to make his own fortune, with the smitten Sophia in pursuit. A series of bawdy escapades and assorted scrapes ensues, including a duel and a stint in prison, before the mystery of Tom's birth is unraveled. Fielding used all the dramatic skill he had amassed as a successful playwright for the London stage to tell this hugely entertaining story of a flawed but generous hero claiming his true identity and his true love.
Jacket image: The Stolen Kiss (detail) by Jean-Honore Fragonard. Hermitage, St. Petersberg, Russia.
Erich Lessing / Art Resource, N.Y.
Jacket Design by Carol Devine Carson and Abby Weintraub
About the Author
Geboren 22.4.1707 Sharpham Park bei Glastonbury, Somerset; gestorben 8.10.1754 Lissabon. Der Sohn eines Offiziers besuchte das Eton College und studierte Jura in London und Leiden. Von 1729 bis 1737 war er in London als Dramatiker und Theaterdirektor tatig. Seit 1748 war er Friedensrichter.
“Two hundred years have not dimmed Fielding’s realism. His humor is closer to our own than that of any writer before the present century.”—Kingsley Amis