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Henry Fielding (1707-1754) began his career as a novelist in 1740 with Shamela (written as a negative response to Richardson's Pamela). The following year, he published Joseph Andrews, with which he anticipates his masterpiece, Tom Jones. His final work, The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon, was published posthumously in 1755. Thomas Keymer is Elmore Fellow and Tutor in English at St Anne's College, Oxford. His books include Sterne, the Moderns, and the Novel (2002), and co-edited with John Mee, The Cambridge Companion to English Literature 1740-1830 (2004). Alice Wakely completed a doctoral dissertation on Samuel Richardson at Magdalen College, Oxford, and is currently at the University of York. Thomas Keymer is Elmore Fellow and Tutor in English at St Anne's College, Oxford. His books include Richardson's Clarissa and the 18th Century Reader (1992), Sterne, the Moderns, and the Novel (2002), and co-edited with John Mee, The Cambridge Companion to English Literature 1740-1830 (2004). Alice Wakely completed a doctoral dissertation on Samuel Richardson at Magdalen College, Oxford and is currently at the University of York. The editors have previously collaborated on the OUP World's Classics edition of Richardson's Pamela (2001).
June 2014 Guest Editor Freya North on The History of Tom Jones... I have to admit that I saw the film version with Albert Finney and Susannah York first – but I loved it so much I read the novel immediatley. I was a teenager and it was the first very early novel that I read by choice, rather than from the school curriculum. I loved it. I also loved that it was vilified in its time as `A motley history of bastardism, fornication, and adultery' . To me, that is precisely what a classic romp should be. The cast is a lurid, wonderful hotpot of prudes, whores, libertines, bumpkins, scoundrels and virgins. I loved Tom because despite his inability to resist temptation he’s essentailly very warm-hearted and real. I’ve often thought what a happy couple he and Moll Flanders would make…
With its combination of satire and sentiment, its focus on the seedy side of London life, and its unexpected shifts in tone, Amelia has intrigued and disturbed readers since its first publication. Eagerly awaited by Henry Fielding's eighteenth-century readers of Tom Jones, the novel perplexed many of them. Amelia counters the traditional courtship plot of eighteenth-century novels with its convincing portrayal of a marriage between an errant husband and his wife, and is ahead of its time in its depiction of the alienation of modern city life. Appendices include contemporary criticism and related works by Alexander Pope and Sarah Fielding.