As Henry Fielding's last effort at sustained journalism, the Covent-Garden Journal (1752) significantly reflects the literary, moral, and social ideas of a major novelist in the final years of his life. Freed from the burden of political propagandizing which had dominated his earlier journalism, Fielding here addressed himself directly to social satire, literary criticism, and moral instruction in essays that are strikingly rooted in the everyday life of mid-century London. The Journal is thus an essential text not only for students of Fielding but for anyone concerned with the social and literary history of the period.
The general introduction explains the connection between the Journal and the brief pamphlet A Plan of the Universal Register-Office (1751) and places them in Fielding's career; it then describes the journalistic background, major themes, and immediate reception of the Covent-Garden Journal. Full explanatory notes are provided for all topical and historical allusions.
The text of the Plan has not been reprinted since the eighteenth century. The present text of the Journal, incorporating a recent discovery of revisions in Fielding's hand, offers in an appendix a column about Fielding's magistracy not previously reprinted. Other appendices provide a complete record of all textual amendations.
`The texts have been brilliantly edited by Professor Bertrand Goldgar. The challenge posed by this form of ephemeral material is prodigious and it is hard to imagine how the job could bave been better done.
Journal of Newspaper and Periodical History
'excellent Wesleyan edition of the legal and social pamphlets produced by Fielding during the term of his magistracy ... In common with the other volumes of the Wesleyan edition which have so far appeared, the detailed scholarship and textual authority of these volumes are of the highest standard.'
David Nokes, TLS
'valuable edition ... The edition is an excellent one, judicious and authoritative ... a fit complement to Fielding's humane and wide-ranging essays.'
Jeremy Black, University of Durham, Notes and Queries
'those studying The Covent-Garden Journal will often be grateful for his guidance ... there is certainly material in the Journal which does deserve the scrupulous editing and annotation provided by Goldgar'
Michael Irwin., University of Kent, Review of English Studies, Vol. 44, May 1993
Series: The Wesleyan Edition of the Works of Henry Fielding
Number Of Pages: 580
Published: 15th December 1988
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.3
Weight (kg): 0.95