Study Guide

Joseph Andrews Book 3, Chapter 1

By Henry Fielding

Book 3, Chapter 1

  • We've been waiting for some more of that Fielding wisdom, delivered at the beginning of each book.
  • All righty, so Fielding's giving us a distinction between romance writers and biographers. The former give their books hoity-toity titles like "The History of England," while the latter try to find out the truth about great men.
  • Hold up. Even though it seems like Fielding's saying that biographers are the best, the fact is that all they're doing is copying nature. Nothing original here, folks.
  • Exhibit A of what Fielding's trying to say: take a look at Don Quixote. No, really. Go ahead. We'll wait.
  • With Don Quixote, we have a classic that's basically like history.
  • Hopefully, Joseph Andrews is in a similar vein (says Fielding). After all, we're trying to understand people in general, not one guy in particular (that'd be Joseph Andrews).

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