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Joseph Andrews and Shamela by Henry Fielding
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Joseph Andrews and Shamela

by Henry Fielding

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Shamela gets a solid 3.5 stars: It is quite funny--though only if you have read Pamela! Otherwise many of the jokes will not work. Unfortunately, Shamela is only about 50 pages.

Joseph Andrews gets 2 stars: It certainly has its moments. I found parts 1, 3, and 4, to be the strongest. Part 2, though, I found to be long and tiringóîand I did not like the character of Parson Adams, even if he was meant to represent someone or a certain sort of Parson. Again, it help to have read Pamela (as Joseph Andrews is meant to be her brother), though a recent reading of Don Quixote would also help (I read it decades ago).

As with many of these 18th century novels, footnotes are needed to understand the many references to events, laws, and people that are referenced or represented. It makes the story a bit hard to follow and hard to fully comprehendäóîeven though it might have been quite funny to those reading it when it was written. ( )
  Dreesie | Apr 12, 2016 |
An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews:

This got a proper laugh out of me. There's no point reading it unless you've read Pamela - which I urge you to do as you're in for a treat. It's also worth reading the introduction to the 2nd edition as you'll get more of the jokes.
The humour here depends on the idea that Pamela is not as she presents herself in her letters but is in fact the saucy slut Mr B accuses her of being - an idea that I must admit I suspected when I first began reading the novel.

The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews, and of His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams:

This novel can be read on it's own but you'll get more out of it if you've read Pamela. If you intend to read Pamela then you should definitely read that first as this gives away an important plot point.

It has many parallels with it's progenitor as everything in it has a counterpart or opposite: high vs low class, innocence & guilt, appearance vs reality, hypocrisy and truth.

And let's not forget that it's just tremendous fun!

I read Tom Jones last year and wish now that I'd read this first. It shares so much with the later novel: a journey, a handsome hero with a love interest, comic sidekick and money worries; secret family histories; guilt & innocence; hypocrisy. It's like a dry run for the later novel. Perhaps he thought no-one had read this so could recycle much of it. Not that I'm complaining. I enjoyed the relative tightness of this novel even if the rambling scope of Tom Jones is technically, well, more classic.

Oh, and if you don't like his portrayal of Gypsies, Tom Jones has a more balanced view. ( )
1 vote Lukerik | Nov 24, 2015 |
A picaresque novel and as such, eminently forgettable and largely tedious. I can understand the importance of the book for the time it was written in, but unless you really enjoy “adventures” and plot elements that inevitably contrive to farce, then this isn’t for you.

It wasn’t for me.

So, why are we bothering with it at all? Well, the novel at the time Fielding wrote Joseph (1742) was a fairly predictable affair. Rules that heavily defined British society had constrained the novel within it’s own particular literary rules. Fielding was particularly upset about this and the popularity of such constrained novels by Samuel Richardson in particular.

Fielding intended to break some of the barriers of contemporary fiction and if Wikipedia is any authority to go by, he seems to have succeeded. But, never lacking historical irony, the success of trail-blazing mould-breakers only inspires others to form new moulds of their own.

In particular, Fielding inspired Smollet and Peregrine Pickle is, to my mind, a much more engaging piece of work than Joseph Andrews. If you were looking for an 18th century picaresque novel to while away some time, I’d recommend you bypass Joseph’s outstretched hand of friendship and hit the open road with Peregrine. ( )
  arukiyomi | Jul 25, 2015 |
I quite enjoyed these, Fielding is good at parody and is much the best of the 18thC novelists. ( )
  mlfhlibrarian | Nov 11, 2013 |
Contains two works with facsimile of original title pages and notes.
  plexica | Jun 17, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fielding, Henryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Battestin, Martin C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brooks-Davies, DouglasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keymer, ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140433864, Paperback)

‘Kissing, Joseph, is but a Prologue to a Play. Can I believe a young Fellow of your Age and Complexion will be content with Kissing?’

Joseph Andrews, Henry Fielding’s first full-length novel, depicts the many colourful and often hilarious adventures of a comically chaste servant. After being sacked for spurning the lascivious Lady Booby, Joseph takes to the road, accompanied by his beloved Fanny Goodwill, a much-put-upon foundling girl, and Parson Adams, a man often duped and humiliated, but still a model of Christian charity. In the boisterous short tale Shamela, a brilliant parody of Richardson’s Pamela, the spirited and sexually honest heroine uses coyness and mock modesty to catch herself a rich husband. Together these works anticipate Fielding’s great comic epic Tom Jones, with their amiable good humour and pointed social satire.

Judith Hawley’s introduction compares the works of Fielding and Richardson, and discusses sex and class relations, and the literary and political world of the time. This volume also includes a chronology and suggestions for further reading.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:27 -0400)

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Contains two novels by Henry Fielding, including "Joseph Andrews," the story of a footman in eighteenth-century English who must protect his virtue from the advances of several women; and "Shamela," a parody of Samuel Richardson's novel of a servant girl whose virtuous behavior is rewarded with marriage.… (more)

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