Thursday, April 2, 2015

Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding

Henry Fielding (1707-1754) was an English writer, author of Joseph Andrews, Tom Thumb,Tom Jones, and Amelia. He also wrote plays that were produced in Drury Lane.

Joseph Andrews is written in the style of Cervantes wherein there are many words of description and twists and turns and discourses that are slight diversions from the main story as he relates the life and times of Joseph and his true love, Fanny Goodwill. The curate, Mister Abraham Adams, is the narrator. Joseph finds himself unemployed after he is released from service as Lady Booby's footman, having been caught in her arms one day.

There is an awful lot of walking as Adams makes his way from one place to another and even finds himself beaten up by highwaymen who lie to the Justice of the Peace in making Adams the culprit who robbed them. Joseph gets robbed by the same highwaymen and left naked in the bushes, and who comes along in her carriage to save him?\None other than Lady Booby who is put in shock when she hears that Joseph was left nekkid and bruised. She won't let him in the carriage in that state. Adams comes along and saves him with some an overcoat from one of the Lady's footmen. They are left to their own devices as the carriage takes off. They run across an inn and the lady offers to take care of the sore Joseph. As the story moves on, Adams gets lost in the country and takes a while to find his way back.

With all the ups and downs, arguments and discussions, and throw Fanny Goodwill into the mix, it's a wonder that the novel ever comes to an end. And before it does, Joseph finds out that Fanny, who he is deeply in love with and she him, may be his long lost sister. Oh, the sorrow on finding this out. Or, is she really his sister? And how about his other sister, Pamela?

Fielding gets this all straightened out finally and Lady Booby lives happily ever after, I think.

I really, really enjoy novels and writing like this, even though it is out of date in style and uses many, too many words with all the looks away and diversions. It reminds me of the Fanny Hill movie even though the movie was based on a John Cleland novel written in about the same time period and The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones movie based on Fielding's novel Tom Jones. Both movies and this book were hilarious to me.


  1. Nice review, unlike you I struggle getting through novels from this time period. Too much of everything for me.

  2. This is probably the kind of book I'd read slowly over a good length of time. I do enjoy such books but don't consume them regularly.

    1. To absorb everything, you have to read slow. I find myself re-reading certain parts to make sure I understood them.