The Real History of Tom Jones by J. StevensonThe Real History of Tom Jones by J. Stevenson

The Real History of Tom Jones

byJ. Stevenson

Paperback | May 14, 2008

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The Real History of Tom Jones revivifies historical materials from which Henry Fielding constructed the greatest comic novel of the eighteenth century. This study recovers and explores the contexts necessary to understand Fielding's subtle art, such as the bloody conflict for the throne between Stuarts and Hanoverians, a contradictory class system, game laws that both protected and flouted individual property rights, and a justice system that proclaimed hanging for many crimes but let most criminals go. Drawing on evidence such as the peculiar appearance of eighteenth-century money, the fraudulent autobiography of a gypsy king, and a magical prayer book illustration, the book offers new readings of both Tom Jones and the political and legal landscape of Georgian England.
JOHN ALLEN STEVESON is Chair and Associate Professor of English at the University of Colorado-Boulder, USA.
Title:The Real History of Tom JonesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:225 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.54 inPublished:May 14, 2008Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230602495

ISBN - 13:9780230602496

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Table of Contents

Stuart Ghosts Savage Matters Black Acts Hanging Judges Gypsy Kings Mirror Plots

Editorial Reviews

“Stevenson’s readings are elegant and original, and his contention that complex countercurrents underlie the novel’s surface commitments is generally persuasive.”--Times Literary Supplement"The Real History of Tom Jones is a provocatively brilliant and original book that has enriched and deepened my understanding of Fielding's novel.  A tour de force of critical readings of Tom Jones, Stevenson’s book is challenging, but it is also elegant, witty, and memorable."--John Richetti, A.M. Rosenthal Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania"Advancing the provocative thesis that Fielding's masterpiece reveals a subtext of Jacobitism under its supposedly pro-Hanoverian surface, The Real History of Tom Jones will change the way we think about Henry Fielding and his politics. Though it focuses on one novel, by one author, its insights and original methodology will alter our perception of the intersections between politics and the novel in the British eighteenth-century."--Albert J. Rivero, Professor of English, Marquette University“Stevenson’s book is a delight as well as a subtle lesson in how history and fiction work together to illuminate a culture, in this case that of complex and elusive eighteenth-century Britain. By paying attention to a host of small things—characters (Black George) and ‘minor’ episodes  (the gypsies, Garrick’s performance of Hamlet)—The Real History of Tom Jones reveals a subtler and more balanced Henry Fielding than most readers have found. Here is a witty, smooth, cool, quietly persuasive style in service of tough-minded historical and cultural analysis.”--J. Paul Hunter, University of Chicago and University of Virginia