A critique on Henry Fielding As The First Novelist of English Language

Essay by HarrisNathokaUniversity, Master'sA-, March 2004

download word file, 8 pages 4.5 1 reviews

Downloaded 62 times

About Henry Fielding:

Henry Fielding was born in Sharpham Park, Somerset, England, on April 22, 1707, and died in Lisbon on 8th October 1754. He was a great novelist and a playwright. His contribution to the Novel as a form of expression has been fundamental, and he is therefore known as the founder of English Novel. His major works in the field of Novel include Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones.

Biography: Life before Novel

Fielding belonged to a distinguished family. Henry's father, Col. Edmund Fielding, had served under John Churchill, duke of Marlborough, an early 18th-century general, "with much bravery and reputation." His mother was a daughter of Sir Henry Gould, a judge of the Queen's Bench, from whom she inherited property at East Stour, in Dorset, where Fielding spent some of his childhood. Fielding was quite young, only eleven years old, when his mother died. His father married again, and Fielding was sent to Eton College, where he laid the foundations of his love of literature and his considerable knowledge of the classics.

After his studies, he spent some years in leisure, before he went to the University of Leiden in Holland for further studies. However, he had to unfortunatelt return from the university without completing his studies because his father could not pay his allowance and the university expenses any more.

After coming back, he soon started writing plays. It is believed that in all, he wrote some 25 plays. Although his dramatic works have not held the stage, their wit cannot be denied. He was essentially a satirist, and his target was the political corruption of the times. His plays were quite superior in quality and content, and Bernard Shaw interesting commented that Fielding was "the greatest dramatist, with the single exception of Shakespeare, produced in England...