Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:November 2011
Original Publication Year:1883
Subjects: English literature 1700-1830 , English literature: general interest
At the outset of this book, published in the first 'English Men of Letters' series in 1883, the poet and author Austin Dobson (1840–1921) declares his intention to restrict himself to giving a 'purely biographical' account of the life of the lawyer, novelist and dramatist Henry Fielding (1707–54). Fielding is probably best remembered today for his novels Joseph Andrews and The History of Tom Jones (1749), but in his own day he was famous not only for his writings in many different genres but also for his work as an innovatory Justice of the Peace in London. Dobson recounts Fielding's life from his schooldays at Eton to the production of his first play, and his subsequent careers as a writer, magistrate and controversialist, until his death in Portugal (where he had travelled in the hope that the climate would improve his health) in October 1754.