Tom Jones is one of the earliest English novels, and was hugely popular when it was first published in It tells the story of the foundling Tom and his. Project Gutenberg's The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, by Henry Fielding This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no. Tom Jones comes a riotous fifth in our list of the greatest novels in English, writes Robert McCrum.


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The book opens with the narrator stating that the purpose of tom jones henry fielding novel will be to explore "human nature.

Allworthy returns from London after an extended business trip and finds an abandoned baby sleeping in his bed. He summons his housekeeper, Mrs Deborah Wilkins, to take care of the child. After searching the nearby village Mrs Wilkins is told about a young woman called Jenny Jones, servant of a schoolmaster and his wife, as the most likely person to have committed the deed.

  • Tom Jones by Henry Fielding |
  • Tom Jones | novel by Fielding |
  • The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

Jenny is brought before the Allworthys and admits being the baby's mother, but refuses to reveal the father's identity. Mr Allworthy mercifully removes Jenny to a place where her reputation will be tom jones henry fielding and tells his sister to raise the boy, whom he names Thomas, in his household.

The doctor introduces the captain to Bridget in the hope of marrying into Allworthy's wealth.

The 100 best novels: No 5 – Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (1749)

The couple soon marry. After the marriage Captain Blifil begins to show a coldness to his brother, who eventually feels obliged to leave the tom jones henry fielding for London, where he soon dies "of a broken heart".

Captain Blifil and his wife start to grow cool towards tom jones henry fielding another, and the former is found dead from apoplexy one evening after taking his customary evening stroll before dinner.

By then he has fathered a boy, who grows up with the bastard Tom.


Captain Blifil's son, known as Master Blifil, is a miserable and jealous boy who conspires against Tom. He tends to be closer friends with the servants and gamekeepers than with members of the gentry. Samuel Johnson, famously, sold his over-earnest romance, Rasselas, to pay for his mother's funeral.

Henry Fielding was typical of this new generation. Tom jones henry fielding inhe was a wholly 18th-century man. With a classical education at Eton, family connections and a good career in the law, in which he is sometimes credited with laying the foundations of the Metropolitan police, he turned to fiction partly to fund an extravagant lifestyle and partly to engage with a stimulating contemporary audience.

The best novels: No 5 – Tom Jones by Henry Fielding | Books | The Guardian

Fielding was writing at a time of intense social and political change and took up tom jones henry fielding pen in response to the crises of the moment.

Until the repressive Licensing Act ofhe had enjoyed a reputation as the author of satirical burlesques.


In hindsight, the English novel was an obvious new arena for his imagination, but it was literary rivalry that pushed him, in middle age, on to the path of fiction. Uh Oh There was a problem with your submission. Please try again later.

In those days people talked and wrote …more First of tom jones henry fielding remember this is widely acknowledged to be the first true novel written. In those days people talked and wrote tom jones henry fielding a different way compared to today. For this reason you must be very determined and very patient in order to get the most out of it.

But believe me, it is truly one of the great works of fiction and worth every effort you can put into it.

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