Joseph Andrews/Shamela by Henry Fielding

Joseph Andrews/Shamela

Henry Fielding
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Annotation

In writing these comic novels Henry Fielding took aim at the conventional morals and mores found in the novels of his contemporary, Samuel Richardson. Joseph Andrews, Fielding's first full-length novel, can be seen as a response to Richardson, as the lascivious Lady Booby sets out to seduce her comically chaste servant Joseph (himself in love with the much-put-upon Fanny Goodwill). As in Tom Jones, Fielding takes a huge cast of characters out on the road and exposes them to many colorful and often hilarious adventures. Yet at the heart of the book is Parson Abraham Adams, a man often duped and humiliated by those more crafty than him, but still a model of Christian charity, learned, generous, friendly, and brave.

Shamela is a brilliant parody of Richardson's Pamela, in which a virtuous servant girl long resists-her master's advances and is eventually “rewarded” with marriage. Fielding's far more spirited and sexually honest heroine, by contrast, merely uses coyness and mock modesty, as techniques to catch a rich husband.

Publisher Description

“Shamela” is a brilliant parody of Samuel Richardson's “Pamela”, in which a virtuous servant girl long resists her master's advances and is eventually 'rewarded' with marriage. Fielding's far more spirited and sexually honest heroine, by contrast, merely uses coyness and mock modesty as techniques to catch a rich husband. “Joseph Andrews”, Fielding's first full-length novel, can also be seen as a response to Richardson, as the lascivious Lady Booby sets out to seduce her comically chaste servant Joseph, (himself in love with the much-put-upon Fanny Goodwill). As in “Tom Jones”, Fielding takes a huge cast of characters out on the road and exposes them to many colourful and often hilarious adventures.

Review
"Hawley's introduction is a model of what such a thing should be (for an undergraduate audience): full of information, but not too pushy. She manages to touch on a truly remarkable number of important bases in just a few pages—an impressive accomplishment. The notes are good, too. This is the best edition out there for college students."—Douglas Patey, Sophia Smith Professor of English, Smith College

Author Biography

Henry Fielding (1707 - 54) started his career as a playwright until his outspoken satirical plays so annoyed Walpole's Government that a new Licensing Act was introduced to drive him from the stage. He turned to writing various 'comic epics in prose', including SHAMELA (1741), JOSEPH ANDREWS (1742) and TOM JONES (1749). A master innovator, he is credited with creating the first modern novels in English. Judith Hawley is a lecturer in English at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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Joseph Andrews/Shamela

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