HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Amelia by Henry Fielding
Loading...

Amelia (1751)

by Henry Fielding

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
242247,619 (3.04)15

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 15 mentions

French (1)  English (1)  All languages (2)
Amelia was Henry Fielding's final novel and his most conventional one. It is a moral tale concerning the troubles and triumphs of a married couple, William and Amelia Booth. Booth is an English soldier, an infantry officer with no fortune of his own who dares to love and marry Amelia Harris, a stunningly beautiful middle class girl from a prosperous family. Amelia's family does not react well to the match, and, when Amelia's mother dies, a sister cheats Amelia out of her inheritance by means of a fraudulent will.

We learn of the Booths' early history as William tells his life story in Newgate prison in the opening chapters. He has been arrested for assault when he was actually trying to help a person who was being mugged on a London street. The person he is telling this to is a female fellow prisoner, Miss Matthews, who manages to seduce Booth before the two of them are released. Booth's infidelity is a secret guilt which will hang over him for the rest of the book.

Amelia, meanwhile, is not only faithful to her wayward husband, but completely innocent of any impure thoughts. Her beauty attracts many would-be seducers--most of them men that Booth considers his friends--but she remains unwary and oblivious to their intentions. One of her friends, in frustration, declares Amelia to be "the most confounded prude on earth." Booth is a good-hearted man, but not so flawless as his wife. As a discharged officer on half-pay he barely has enough money to support his growing family, yet he wastes most of his resources through profligate spending and gambling. He is deeply in debt and constantly on the run from the bailiff while his wife is the intended prey of his lecherous friends. At every turn their one true friend, a cleric named Dr. Harrison, delivers a sermon appropriate to Booth's most recent failings.

Aside from its moral lessons on adultery, gambling, dueling, and other sins, the novel attacks some of the social ills of the day: inequality, a corrupt justice system, a Parliament out of touch with the needs of the people, and the lack of religious piety even among the clergy. But these are more asides than themes. One of the more entertaining debates, however, is on whether women should be educated. "Education" in this context means being taught Greek and Latin so they could memorize the ancient classics. Fielding documents the debate but doesn't appear to take sides.

Amelia is a good novel but not in the same class as Fielding's earlier works. It lacks humor and is often preachy. It does give a nice picture of some aspects of life in mid-18th century London, but Fielding doesn't dig as deeply as we might like into the institutions he criticizes. This may be one of the best novels before Dickens and Gaskell to portray the corruption and poverty of urban England, but you have to wade through a lot of sentimentality and moralizing to glean a sense of the times. ( )
1 vote StevenTX | May 25, 2015 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
The various accidents which befel a very worthy couple after their uniting in the state of matrimony will be the subject of the following history.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
With its combination of satire and sentiment, its focus on the seedy side of London life, and its unexpected shifts in tone, Amelia has intrigued and disturbed readers since its first publication. Eagerly awaited by Henry Fielding's eighteenth-century readers of Tom Jones, the novel perplexed many of them. Amelia counters the traditional courtship plot of eighteenth-century novels with its convincing portrayal of a marriage between an errant husband and his wife, and is ahead of its time in its depiction of the alienation of modern city life.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140432299, Paperback)

With its combination of satire and sentiment, its focus on the seedy side of London life, and its unexpected shifts in tone, Amelia has intrigued and disturbed readers since its first publication. Eagerly awaited by Henry Fielding's eighteenth-century readers of Tom Jones, the novel perplexed many of them. Amelia counters the traditional courtship plot of eighteenth-century novels with its convincing portrayal of a marriage between an errant husband and his wife, and is ahead of its time in its depiction of the alienation of modern city life. Appendices include contemporary criticism and related works by Alexander Pope and Sarah Fielding.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Drawing on the author's experiences as a magistrate and legal reformer, Amelia follows the travails of Amelia Booth and her husband, Captain Booth, as they suffer a series of unjust persecutions brought about by corrupt social institutions. Published in 1751, it was Fielding's final novel.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
25 wanted5 free
12 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.04)
0.5 1
1
1.5
2 1
2.5 2
3 3
3.5 1
4 3
4.5 1
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 97,862,082 books! | Top bar: Always visible