". . . More delicately faithful and true are Colonel James and his wife. They are both very good sort of people in a way, who live in a lax and frivolous age, who have plenty of money, no particular principle, no strong affection for each other, and little individual character. They might have been -- Mrs. James to some extent is -- quite estimable and harmless; but even as it is, they are not to be wholly ill spoken of. Being what they are, Fielding has taken them, and, with a relentlessness which Swift could hardly have exceeded, and a good nature which Swift rarely or never attained, has held them up to us as dissected preparations of half-innocent meanness, scoundrelism, and vanity, such as are hardly anywhere else to be found. I have used the word 'preparations,' and it in part indicates Fielding's virtue, a virtue shown, I think, in this book as much as anywhere. But it does not fully indicate it; for the preparation, wet or dry, is a dead thing, and a museum is but a mortuary. Fielding's men and women, once more let it be said, are all alive. The palace of his work is the hall, not of Eblis, but of a quite beneficent enchanter, who puts burning hearts into his subjects, not to torture them, but only that they may light up for us their whole organization and being. They are not in the least the worse for it, and we are infinitely the better." -- From editor George Saintsbury's Introduction
With its combination of satire and sentiment, its focus on the seedy side of London life, and its unexpected shifts in tone, Amelia has intrigued and disturbed readers since its first publication. Eagerly awaited by Henry Fielding's eighteenth-century readers of Tom Jones, the novel perplexed many of them. Amelia counters the traditional courtship plot of eighteenth-century novels with its convincing portrayal of a marriage between an errant husband and his wife, and is ahead of its time in its depiction of the alienation of modern city life. Appendices include contemporary criticism and related works by Alexander Pope and Sarah Fielding.
From the Back Cover