In Our Time

In Our Time

BBC Radio 4

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ideas, people and events that have shaped our world.

Категории: Образование

Слушане на последния епизод:

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss "The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling" (1749) by Henry Fielding (1707-1754), one of the most influential of the early English novels and a favourite of Dickens. Coleridge wrote that it had one of the 'three most perfect plots ever planned'. Fielding had made his name in the theatre with satirical plays that were so painful for their targets in government that, from then until the 1960s, plays required approval before being staged; seeking other ways to make a living, Fielding turned to law and to fiction. 'Tom Jones' is one of the great comic novels, with the tightness of a farce and the ambition of a Greek epic as told by the finest raconteur. While other authors might present Tom as a rake and a libertine, Fielding makes him the hero for his fundamental good nature, so offering a caution not to judge anyone too soon, if ever.


Judith Hawley Professor of 18th Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London

Henry Power Professor of English Literature at the University of Exeter


Charlotte Roberts Associate Professor of English Literature at University College London

Producer: Simon Tillotson

In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio Production

Reading list:

Martin C. Battestin with Ruthe R. Battestin, Henry Fielding: A Life (Routledge, 1989)

J. M. Beattie, The First English Detectives: The Bow Street Runners and the Policing of London, 1750–1840 (Oxford University Press, 2012) S. Dickie, Cruelty and Laughter: Forgotten Comic Literature and the Unsentimental Eighteenth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2011)

J.A. Downie (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Eighteenth-Century Novel (Oxford University Press, 2020)

Henry Fielding (ed. John Bender and Simon Stern), The History of Tom Jones (Oxford University Press, 2008)

Henry Fielding (ed. Tom Keymer), The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon (Penguin Classics, 1996)

Ronald Paulson, The Life of Henry Fielding: A Critical Biography (Wiley Blackwell, 2000)

Henry Power, Epic into Novel: Henry Fielding, Scriblerian Satire, and the Consumption of Classical Literature (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Claude Rawson, Henry Fielding and the Augustan Ideal under Stress (first published 1972; Routledge, 2021)

Claude Rawson (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Henry Fielding (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

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