If Samuel Richardson wrote about how the good should behave, Henry Fielding wrote about how the good do, in fact, behave.
Fielding knew that no one is perfect, that even those with the best intentions stumble, that a person may do wrong by following what they think is right and that one person’s misfortune is another’s gain.
Tom Jones is a book for all ages because it a book which takes humanity as it is as its model, describing our many imperfections as readily as our momentary perfections.
Bold, bawdy and boisterous in one moment, wise, subtle and endearing in the next, Tom Jones, by way of its many excellences, defies classification and critique.
I foolishly put off reading Tom Jones because I believed it was difficult to read. I was wrong. Tom Jones is accessible, true to life, funny, exciting, relevant, extraordinarily wise and really is a book we should all one day read. I advise that you make ‘one day’ today.
I loved this book.
There is a set of religious, or rather moral, writings which teach that virtue is the certain road to happiness, and vice to misery in this world. A very wholesome and comfortable doctrine, and to which we have but one objection, namely, that it is not true.
From Henry Fielding’s The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling
About the Contributor
John Purcell (aka Natasha Walker) is the author of The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy published by Random House Australia. The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings reached the top ten on the Australian fiction charts and Natasha/John was the tenth highest selling Australian novelist and third highest selling Australian debut author in 2012. The trilogy has since sold over 50,000 copies in print and ebook and has been translated into French and Polish. John has worked in the book industry for the last twenty years. While still in his twenties he opened John’s Bookshop, a second-hand bookshop in Mosman in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Now he is the Head of Product and Chief Buyer at booktopia.com.au.