Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 11, Chapter 4

By Henry Fielding

Book 11, Chapter 4

The History of Mrs. Fitzpatrick

  • Remember, back in Book 4, Chapter 5, when we mentioned that Sophia spent three years at her aunt's house in Bath learning how to be a lady?
  • Well, her cousin Harriet (the future Mrs. Fitzpatrick) was her best friend during that time.
  • Once Sophia returned to her father's house, Harriet was left more or less on her own.
  • And it's to this post-Sophia life in Bath that Mrs. Fitzpatrick/Harriet flashes back.
  • At this time, Mrs. Western is attracted to an Irish gentleman named Mr. Fitzpatrick.
  • She frequently brings him over to her house for gatherings.
  • People start to gossip that maybe Mr. Fitzpatrick and Mrs. Western are having an affair.
  • At first, Harriet believes that Mr. Fitzpatrick is trying to marry Mrs. Western for her money.
  • But then, Mr. Fitzpatrick starts behaving romantically towards Harriet herself.
  • But Mrs. Western is completely oblivious to all of the signs that Mr. Fitzpatrick is trying to seduce her niece.
  • Finally, Mr. Fitzpatrick tells Harriet that he is in love with her.
  • Harriet is thrilled, not only that he loves her, but also that she beat out all of her rivals for Mr. Fitzpatrick's attention.
  • Harriet and Mr. Fitzpatrick elope.
  • Mrs. Western refuses to speak to Harriet—now Mrs. Fitzpatrick.