Abandoned as an infant and of unknown parentage, Tom Jones is raised in the household of the irreproachable, altruistic Squire Allworthy. Growing up to be a high-spirited, lusty youth, Tom finds himself vulnerable to temptation in the form of the local wenches, though his heart is ultimately claimed by the beautiful Sophia Western, the daughter of a neighbouring landowner. When Tom's erotic misadventures compel the squire to expel him from his home, and when Sophia flees from her domineering and boisterous father to avoid an undesired union with the odious Master Blifil, a colourful, picaresque journey through eighteenth-century England ensues, one punctuated by a parade of unforgettable Hogarthian grotesques and timeless comic set-pieces.
Characterized by both razor-sharp wit and broad, bawdy humour, and described by Coleridge as boasting one of the "three most perfect plots ever planned", Tom Jones was an instant hit on its publication in 1749, and is widely considered one of the greatest works of English literature and a foundation stone in the development of the English novel.
About this Author
One of the founders of the English novel, Henry Fielding (1707-54) is remembered today for his bawdy picaresque Tom Jones and other works such as the comic tale Joseph Andrews and his travelogue Journey of a Voyage to Lisbon.
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