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Additional info for Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
Yet what he asserts about the prime importance of 'trade' is equally open to objections, of course. It is an entertaining diversion certainly, but whether it is of much relevance to the book as a whole is open to question. 34 Bookm Chapter 1. Summary Biography (by which Fielding must in what follows be understood to mean the novel) is generally superior to History, so-called, because, however scrupulously historians may assemble their factual materials, it is clear that differences in viewpoint and presentation will produce such vast gaps between one historian's work and another's that they might as well have invented them.
After Wilson has, aged only sixteen, inherited a substantial fortune, he takes the advice of his lawyers to contest, with the trustees, 36 his father's intention that he should not receive the inheritance until he is twenty-five. He leaves school and goes to London where he speedily learns to act the part of a man about town, becoming fashionably cynical, foul-mouthed, and also - in reality- idle and bored. He is challenged to a duel but backs out, frightened, and retreats to live at the Temple where he forms new, and even worse friendships, and, resorting to brothels, contracts venereal disease.
G. 'high people') are not really intended to apply to all members of a particular class, but only to the minority who are a discredit to it. Commentary This introductory chapter, strategically placed half-way through the book, is partly a restatement of the objectives announced in the Author's Preface and partly an explanation and defence of his own practice as a writer. Fielding's comments on 'history' are perhaps only half-serious; his indictment of historians' inability to agree is nevertheless telling.
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