Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 15, Chapter 11

By Henry Fielding

Book 15, Chapter 11

Containing Curious, But Not Unprecedented Matter

  • Tom has become friends with a woman named Arabella Hunt during his stay at Mrs. Miller's.
  • She is a rich, cheerful widow of about thirty.
  • Her husband died about a year before, and she's now just starting to go out and about.
  • She is eager to marry a second time, and she has taken a liking to Tom.
  • Mrs. Hunt sends Tom a letter offering her hand in marriage.
  • The only condition is that he has to break off his affair with Lady Bellaston.
  • This letter comes when Tom is on the edge of despair.
  • He has no money left, he owes five guineas to a businessman, and Sophia is about to get married—things are not looking great, overall.
  • He likes Mrs. Hunt a lot, and her fortune would also come in handy.
  • Finally, Tom writes a letter back to Mrs. Hunt.
  • He promises her that he is not having an affair at present.
  • But to be honest, his heart belongs to someone else.
  • And he could never marry a woman without loving her entirely.
  • Once Tom sends the letter, he takes out Sophia's muff and kisses it several times.
  • He feels quite proud of himself for resisting such temptation.