Editorial Reviews for this title:
The Wesleyan edition of Tom Jones is widely acknowledged as the best available, and this new paperback reproduces the handsomely composed text and notes of that edition. A new Critical Introduction, a brief chronology of Fielding’s life, and a selected bibliography of relevant criticism especially designed for student use have been added. The map – “A Geography of Tom Jones” – has been retained, while the General and Textual Introduction and six bibliographical Appendices of the two volume clothbound edition have been omitted.
“This edition offers a critical unmodernized text of Tom Jones. The text is critical in that it has been established by application of analytical criticism to the evidence of the various documentary forms in which the novel has appeared. It is unmodernized in that every effort has been made to present the text in as close a form to Fielding’s own inscription and final revision as the surviving documents permit, subject only to normal editorial regulations.”
- from the Textual Introduction
Widely considered to be one of the first true English novels, Fielding's "Tom Jones," written in 1749, revolves around the life and experiences of an orphaned baby who grows up to be a kind-hearted, if overly vigorous, young man. Tom is brought up by the generous Mr. Allworthy on his Somerset estate, where Tom eventually falls in love with his beautiful neighbor, Sophia Western. Because of his partially unknown parentage, however, their respective guardians are against the match. When Tom is banished due to his occasionally heated temper and sexual encounters with local girls, he has an adventure full of danger and surprise, and he ultimately follows Sophia to London, who herself flees from an undesirable arranged marriage. Generally acknowledged as Fielding's greatest work, "Tom Jones" takes the hero through an inventive plot that will entertain and astonish readers to the revealing conclusion.
The History of Tom Jones is considered one of the greatest comic novels in English. The author introduces readers to a young orphan Tom, brought up by munificent Mr. Allworthy along with young Master Blifil. A complex story of love and misapprehensions, the narrative also comments on the English class structure and society. Misunderstanding between characters is created to add to the satire.
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