Henry Fielding: A Literary Life by Harold Pagliaro (auth.)

By Harold Pagliaro (auth.)

Henry Fielding: A Literary existence characterizes Fielding's complicated character, in many ways choked with contradiction, and but resolved either through a deep wisdom of human nature, together with his personal, and by way of his innate social constructiveness and his present for friendship and love. The ebook additionally information ways that Fielding's advanced attitudes give a contribution to the subject-matter of his performs and novels and to the rhetorical recommendations that regulate their form in addition. It additional exhibits that his paintings as attorney, London Justice of the Peace, and social and political essayist used to be equally informed.

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Fielding's response to Pamela throws light on his own nature and initiates the illuminating division of opinion that followed. In Shamela, he turns Pamela inside out, having read her sustained compulsion to equate virginity with honour as a manipulative (immoral and reductive) effort to control her world. Accordingly, he gives us a Shamela who is the disclosed Pamela, acting with a full consciousness of her sexual management of those around her. In doing so, Fielding mischievously implies Richardson's complicity in Pamela's immorality or his culpable ignorance of it.

Probably those who lived by the pen in eighteenth-century England felt easier about such literary backbiting than we may ordinarily suppose. Battestin suggests that Fielding's contribution of the epilogue may have been a way of courting Walpole, with whom Theobald had a well established relation as a pro-ministerial propagandist. 84 Whatever the reason, it would probably be wrong A Biographical Sketch, 1707-50 29 to attach great importance to Fielding's inconsistent treatment of Theobald. Fielding's life in London was enriched by many other friends and adversaries.

Besides his numerous political essays, he was diligently at work on his novels, adding The Life of Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great (1743) and Tom Jones to Shamela and Joseph Andrews. 99 During this extraordinarily busy decade, Fielding's reputation A Biographical Sketch, 1707-50 35 as a novelist grew. Shamela, his parody of Richardson's novel, drew little critical attention, in part at least because the learned world had not yet decided what it thought of Pamela™ But after the appearance of Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones, Fielding was, with Richardson, at the centre of a division of critical opinion that persisted beyond his lifetime.

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