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  • Published: 24 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9780141974682
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 912

Tom Jones




The new paperback series: Penguin English Library

With an essay by R. C. P. Mutter.

'"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.

A vivid Hogarthian panorama of eighteenth-century life, spiced with danger and intrigue, bawdy exuberance and good-natured authorial interjections.

  • Published: 24 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9780141974682
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 912

About the author

Henry Fielding

Henry Fielding was born in 1707 at Sharpham Park, near Glastonbury. He was educated privately at first and then at Eton. In 1725 he attempted to abduct an heiress and was bound over to keep the peace. He then went to London, where in 1728 he published a satirical poem, The Masquerade, and a comedy, Love in Several Masques.

From 1728 to 1729 he was a student of literature at Leyden University, returning to London in the autumn of the latter year. Between then and 1737 he wrote some twenty-five dramatic pieces, including comedies, adaptations of Molière, farces, ballad operas, burlesques and a series of topical satires, such as Pasquin and The Historical Register, which lampooned Sir Robert Walpole and his government.

It was partly because of this last play that Walpole introduced the Stage Licensing Act in 1737, which effectively ended Fielding's career as a dramatist. After this he embarked on a career in the law and was called to the Bar in 1740, but had little success as a barrister. In 1734 he married Charlotte Cradock, the model for Sophie Western and also for the heroine of his last novel, Amelia (1751).

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