Both Joseph Andrews (1742) and Shamela (1741) were prompted by the success of Richardson’s Pamela (1740), of which Shamela is a splendidly bawdy parody.
But in Shamela Fielding also demonstrates his concern for the corruption of contemporary society, politics, religion, morality, and taste. The same themes – together with a presentation of love as charity, as friendship, and in its sexual taste – are present in Joseph Andrews, Fielding’s first novel.
It is a work of considerable literary sophistication and satirical verve, but its appeal lies also in its spirit of comic affirmation, epitomized in the celebrated character of Parson Adams.
This revised and expanded edition follows the text of Joseph Andrews established by Martin C. Battestin for the definitive Wesleyan Edition of Fielding’s works.
A Terrifying Business
My erratic education included one year at a technical college, before it was agreed I leave on the grounds that I was incorrigibly idle. It was 1964, I was 16 and after three suffocating years at a...Read more