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Picture of Amelia


Author(s): Henry Fielding

Book Description

Amelia is Fielding's last novel, his darkest and least comic but also his most autobiographical, drawing on his own experience of London society and continuing the vein of social critique of his earlier novels in a more serious mode.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-1769-1
ISBN-10: 1-4438-1769-4
Date of Publication: 01/02/2010
Pages / Size: 646 / A5
Price: £11.99


Henry Fielding was born in Somerset in 1707, of an aristocratic family, and educated at Eton and in the law at London. Disputed inheritance leaving him short of money, he sought a living as a playwright, writing 25 plays between 1728 and 1737, across a wide generic range, though his biggest successes were satirical, notably The Tragedy of Tragedies (1730-1). This career was cut short by the introduction of theatre censorship, and Fielding both continued his legal studies and edited comic-political journals. A gift for parody led him to start writing novels in response to the huge success of Richardson's Pamela, Joseph Andrews (1742) openly referring to the former. It was followed by Jonathan Wild, Tom Jones and Amelia; the four have earned Fielding the reputation of 'the father of the modern novel'. They are characterised by scathing social critique, impatience with hypocrisy, literary incompetence and pretension, and ambitious but scrupulous plotting. Fielding was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex and Westminster in 1748, and many of his later works are essays connected with the social abuses he sought to counter in that post; he was also responsible for establishing Britain's first police force. Henry Fielding died in 1754 in Lisbon, where he had travelled for his health.