When in 1740 Samuel Richardson published his novel Pamela, Henry Fielding was first stung into writing his lively parody Shamela and then inspired to produce, in a spirit of mocking rivalry, the immortal comic romance Joseph Andrews. A handsome youngster, Joseph becomes a footman in the Booby household, and while his own heart belongs to the innocent Fanny, he himself is continually beseiged by the lustful Lady Booby and her maid, Mrs. Slipslop. His fortunes take Joseph on the road and among robbers, and there he encounters the unforgettable Parson Adams. The farcical brio of their further adventures has assured this delightful comic classic a lasting place in the affections of generations.
About the Author
Henry Fielding was born in 1707, educated at Eton, and began his literary life as a playwright. Numerous of his stage satires and comedies were performed in the 1720s and 1730s, and Fielding was also a theater manager before reading for the bar. His principal works of fiction were Joseph Andrews (1742) and Tom Jones (1749). Hoping for an improvement in his health, he sailed to Portugal in 1754, and died in Lisbon in October that year.