The Novels of Fielding

The Novels of Fielding

The Novels of Fielding

The Novels of Fielding

Excerpt

One of Fieding's most striking qualities is the thorough "Englishness" of his humour and characters. Dickens alone can compare to him in this. Yet although one cannot say that he is neglected by English readers to-day, he does not seem to enjoy his full share of glory. I should like to think that my little study might persuade a few more of his countrymen to turn again to one of the greatest writers ever produced by their race.

The title of my book defines its character and limits.

It is possible to treat Fielding's novels as a separate whole. They are complete in themselves and distinct from the rest of his work; it is in them, and not in his other works, that we find the immortal Fielding. His comedies, polemical tracts, translations and journals were seldom anything more to him than "pot-boilers". He produced them just as César Franck gave music lessons, to earn a living. His novels, on the contrary, were written for eternity.

As my desire was to study the novels alone, I have been led to give only a brief account of what I may call Fielding's daily life. This does not, however, imply that I could dispense with a knowledge of it. I had, on the contrary, examined it as minutely as possible, for my . . .

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