Tuesday 5 March 2019

Fielding, Henry "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling"

Fielding, Henry "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling" - 1749

This book has been on my wishlist forever. One of the British classic authors that I hadn't "met", yet. And this is always mentioned as the first true novel ever written.

Actually, this could have been two books. One, the novel with the story about Tom Jones and his life. Two, the philosophical thoughts of Henry Fielding before every chapter.

While I usually enjoy reading about philosophy, I think in this case it rather distracted than added to the story. I could have done without it, didn't add anything to the story itself. I also couldn't find the humour that it claims to contain. And I love British humour but this must have been a different kind to the one we usually enjoy. The only other time this has happened to me was with "Cold Comfort Farm" by Stella Gibbons.

This doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the book. The story itself was very interesting and gave us a great view of the society of the time, what was done and what wasn't, how many rights you had as a woman or even as a man if you weren't born with a silver spoon in your mouth.

So, all in all, an interesting read. But it won't be on my "read this again" list.

From the back cover:

"A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighboring squire - though he sometimes succumbs to the charms of the local girls. When Tom is banished to make his own fortune and Sophia follows him to London to escape an arranged marriage, the adventure begins. A vivid Hogarthian panorama of eighteenth-century life, spiced with danger and intrigue, bawdy exuberance and good-natured authorial interjections, Tom Jones is one of the greatest and most ambitious comic novels in English literature."


  1. Interesting! I have only seen the movie.

    1. And I have not seen the movie. Or one of the several adaptations. Which one did you watch. Was it a good one?