^^^^^^^^^^ HENRY FIELDING: THE AUTHOR AND HIS TIMES The outspoken eighteenth-century man of letters, Samuel Johnson, wrote to a woman who had read the novel Tom Jones: I am shocked to hear you quote from so vicious a book. I am sorry to hear you have read it: a confession which no modest lady should ever make. I scarcely know a more corrupt work. That's an unusual judgment about a landmark book in the history of world literature, but it's a sample of the kind of passionate response--both favorable and unfavorable--Tom Jones has inspired since it was published. Its author, Henry Fielding, was born on April 22, 1707, in Somerset, in southwest England, the area where his hero is born and raised. Unlike Tom, Fielding had no doubts about his aristocratic lineage. His father was a lieutenant general who had fought against the forces of the great French king, Louis XIV. His mother was the granddaughter of Sir Henry Gold, a baron of the exchequer. But if the Fieldings' social position was secure, their financial situation was shaky. Like most aristocrats, the young Fielding grew to have expensive tastes. Unlike many, he had no way of affording them. For much of his life, he would be like Tom Jones, frequently standing in some lavish drawing room talking to nobility, while wondering how he would pay his own rent. First educated by tutors, he was then sent to Eton, the finest English boarding school. But where other young men of his background and intelligence would have continued on to Cambridge or Oxford University, he didn't, probably because his family could not afford the tuition. Later, he broke off his legal studies at the University of Leyden, in Holland, for the same reason. He made the most of the education he did receive, though, picking up the dazzling familiarity with classical authors that he displays so artfully in his writing.
Blog > Archive for august 2012
Archive for august 2012
- By karakhun
- Postado joi, 23 august 2012 at 10:19
- By karakhun
- at 10:04
The Duchess of Malfi takes place in Italy, mostly at the Duchess’s palace in Malfi, in the sixteenth century. The Duchess is a young widow whose two brothers, Ferdinand and the Cardinal, are visiting her from Rome at the play’s start. Antonio, the manager of her household, has just returned from France. Before leaving the Duchess, Ferdinand engages Bosola, previously used by the Cardinal as a hit man, to ostensibly manage the Duchess’s horses, but in reality to spy on her for the brothers so they can be sure she remains chaste and does not remarry.
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