Henry Fielding

Henry Fielding

Henry Fielding

Background Information

Henry Fielding was a novelist and playwright during the English Restoration as well as one of the founders of London’s first police force, the Bow Street Runners. He was born April 22, 1707 in Somerset to Colonel Edmund Fielding and his wife Sarah Gould, the daughter of Judge Henry Gould. He was educated at Eton College where he received an education in classical literature and languages. Fielding, along with Samuel Richardson, has been referred to as one of the founders of the English novel. Fielding’s first literary success was Shamela (1741), a parody of Richardson’s Pamela. Fielding was known for his humor and satire in his pieces as well as a penchant for establishing a wide variety of characters among varying social classes. His most successful novels were Joseph Andrews (1742) and Tom Jones (1749). He continued to write and publish his works until he died on October 8, 1754.

Works Cited

Martin C. Battestin, ‘Fielding, Henry (1707–1754)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/9400, accessed 9 March 2008]


Diane Aiken