Tom Jones (Oxford World's Classics)

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9780192834973: Tom Jones (Oxford World's Classics)

Fielding's comic masterpiece of 1749 was immediately attacked as 'A motley history of bastardism, fornication, and adultery'. Indeed, his populous novel overflows with a marvellous assortment of prudes, whores, libertines, bumpkins, misanthropes, hypocrites, scoundrels, virgins, and all too fallible humanitarians. At the centre of one of the most ingenious plots in English fiction stands a hero whose actions were, in 1749, as shocking as they are funny today. Expelled from Mr Allworthy's country estate for his wild temper and sexual conquests, the good-hearted foundling Tom Jones loses his money, joins the army, and pursues his beloved across Britain to London, where he becomes a kept lover and confronts the possibility of incest. Tom Jones is rightly regarded as Fielding's greatest work, and one of the first and most influential of English novels. This carefully modernized edition is based on Fielding's emended fourth edition text and offers the most thorough notes, maps, and bibliography. The introduction uses the latest scholarship to examine how Tom Jones exemplifies the role of the novel in the emerging eighteenth-century public sphere.

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Review:

Tom Jones isn't a bad guy, but boys just want to have fun. Nearly two and a half centuries after its publication, the adventures of the rambunctious and randy Tom Jones still makes for great reading. I'm not in the habit of using words like bawdy or rollicking, but if you look them up in the dictionary, you should see a picture of this book.

From the Publisher:

A milestone in the history of the English novel, Tom Jones draws readers into a world teeming with memorable characters. This epic of everyday life chronicles the adventures of Tome Jones, who was abandoned as an infant and grows into a lusty, imprudent young man. Promising to mend his ways, Tom competes with his abusive rival for the affections of a wealthy squire's daughter, and learns the truth about his identity, in this discerning comedy of human foibles and self-discovery.

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Henry Fielding, John Bender (Editor), John Bender (Introduction), Simon Stern (Editor)
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