The Cambridge Companion to Henry Fielding

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Claude Rawson
Cambridge University Press, Mar 8, 2007 - Literary Criticism
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Now best known for three great novels - Tom Jones, Joseph Andrews and Amelia - Henry Fielding (1707–54) was one of the most controversial figures of his time. Prominent first as a playwright, then as a novelist and political journalist, and finally as a justice of peace, Fielding made a substantial contribution to eighteenth-century culture, and was hugely influential in the development of the novel as a form, both in Britain and more widely in Europe. This collection of specially-commissioned essays by leading scholars describes and analyses the many facets of Fielding's work in theatre, fiction, journalism and politics. In addition it assesses his unique contribution to the rise of the novel as the dominant literary form, the development of the law, and the political and literary culture of eighteenth-century Britain. Including a chronology and guide to further reading, this volume offers a comprehensive account of Fielding's life and work.

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Contents

1
3
2
17
3
38
4
50
5
65
6
80
7
94
8
109
9
122
10
137
11
153
Fieldings afterlife
175

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Page 75 - Through the whole piece you may observe such a similitude of manners in high and low life, that it is difficult to determine whether (in the fashionable vices) the fine gentlemen imitate the gentlemen of the road, or the gentlemen of the road the fine gentlemen.
Page 174 - I can't say but that I think Fielding's evident liking and admiration for Mr. Jones, shows that the great humourist's moral sense was blunted by his life, and that here in Art and Ethics, there is a great error.
Page 87 - Prudence and circumspection are necessary even to the best of men. They are indeed, as it were, a guard to Virtue, without which she can never be safe. It is not enough that your designs, nay that your actions, are intrinsically good; you must take care they shall appear so. If your inside be never so beautiful, you must preserve a fair outside also.
Page 174 - Since the author of Tom Jones was buried, no writer of fiction among us has been permitted to depict to his utmost power a MAN.
Page 134 - I remember the most excellent of women, and tenderest of mothers, when, after a painful and dangerous delivery, she was told she had a daughter, answering; Good God! have I produced a creature who is to undergo what I have suffered! Some years afterwards, I heard the same woman, on the death of that very child, then one of the loveliest creatures ever seen, comforting herself with reflecting, that her child could never know what it was to feel such a loss as she then lamented.
Page 15 - His happy constitution (even when he had, with great pains, half demolished it) made him forget everything when he was before a venison pasty, or over a flask of champagne ; and I am persuaded he has known more happy moments than any prince upon earth.
Page 66 - To confess the truth, my narrative is rather of such actions which he might have performed, or would, or should have performed, than what he really did; and may, in reality, as well suit any other such great man, as the person himself whose name it bears.
Page 68 - Newgate as no other than human nature with its mask off, which some very shameless writers have done, a thought which no price should purchase me to entertain, I think we may be excused for suspecting, that the splendid palaces of the great are often no other than Newgate with the mask on.

About the author (2007)

Claude Rawson is Maynard Mack Professor of English at Yale University, Connecticut and Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick.

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