'"Sir, I am concerned at the Trouble I give you; nay indeed my Nakedness may well make me ashamed to look you in the Face..." Jones offered her his Coat; but, I know not for what Reason, she absolutely refused the most earnest Solicitations to accept it'. A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighbouring squire - though he sometimes succumbs to the charms of the local girls. But when his amorous escapades earn the disapproval of his benefactor, Tom is banished to make his own fortune. Sophia, meanwhile, is determined to avoid an arranged marriage to Allworthy's scheming nephew and escapes from her rambunctious father to follow Tom to London. Henry Fielding's vivid Hogarthian panorama of eighteenth-century life is spiced with danger and intrigue, bawdy exuberance and good-natured authorial interjections. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
Henry Fielding (1707-1754) started his career as a playwright until his outspoken satirical plays so annoyed Walpole's government that a new Licensing Act was introduced to drive him from the stage. He turned to writing various 'comic epics in prose', including Joseph Andrews and Shamela. A master innovator, he is credited with creating the first modern novels in English. He was also a magistrate and co-founder of the Bow Street Runners, London's first professional police force. Joseph Andrews is also published in the Penguin English Library.