'Kissing, Joseph, is but a Prologue to a Play. Can I believe a young Fellow of your Age and Complexion will be content with Kissing?'
Joseph Andrews, Henry Fielding's first full-length novel, depicts the many colourful and often hilarious adventures of a comically chaste servant. After being sacked for spurning the lascivious Lady Booby, Joseph takes the road, accompanied by his beloved Fanny Goodwill, a much-put-upon foundling girl, and Parson Adams, a man often duped and humiliated, but still a model of Christian charity. In the boisterous short tale Shamela, a brilliant parody of Richardson's Pamela, the spirited and sexually honest heroine uses coyness and mock modesty to catch herself a rich husband. Together these works anticipate Fielding's great comic epic Tom Jones, with their amiable good humour and pointed social satire.
About the Author
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.
Fielding is best known for Tom Jones, but these two novels are equally worth reading. Infuriated by the sententious hypocrisy of Samuel Richardson's Pamela, Fielding set out to parody it in Shamela (1741), a lively burlesque in which the gullible Parson Tickletext falls for the lovely heroine - who is not as innocent as he thinks. Fielding returned the charge in 1742 with Joseph Andrews, a 'comic romance' which began as another parody of Pamela, but despite itself became a serious novel in its own right, full of gorgeously memorable characters - the innocent hero, the lovely Fanny, the libidinous Lady Booky, poor Parson Adams... Both books, a century and a half later, can still tickle the sense of humour, for Fielding remains the founding father of the humrous novel - the inventor of a genre which led on to Sterne, Dickens, Wodehouse and Tom Sharpe. (Kirkus UK)
|Suggestions for Further Reading||p. xxxiv|
|Note on the Texts||p. xxxvii|
|Joseph Andrews||p. 45|
|Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: June 1999
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 19.7