Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 15, Chapter 2

By Henry Fielding

Book 15, Chapter 2

In Which Is Opened a Very Black Design Against Sophia

  • Lady Bellaston may be acting nice.
  • But underneath her kind exterior, she's filled with jealousy for Sophia.
  • She's trying to think of schemes to get Sophia out of the way, so that she can have Tom to herself.
  • Remember back in Book 13, Chapter 11, when Sophia comes home early from that play?
  • A nobleman helped her to her chair when the fight broke out in the audience.
  • This nobleman is Lord Fellamar, a good friend of Lady Bellaston's.
  • He visits Lady Bellaston's house and spends two hours giving Sophia melting glances.
  • As soon as Lord Fellamar leaves Sophia's company, Lady Bellaston corners him.
  • Lord Fellamar can't stop talking about Sophia's beauty and charm.
  • Lady Bellaston also reassures him that she's got a big estate coming to her.
  • Between her looks and her money, Lord Fellamar declares Sophia "the best match in England" (15.2.9).
  • Lady Bellaston is sure that she can get Sophia's father's consent for the marriage.
  • There is one tiny, Tom-shaped problem.
  • She explains that Sophia is devoted to "a beggar, a bastard, a foundling" (15.2.9)—in other words, to our Tom.
  • Even though her family has tried to get Sophia to give up on Tom, she just won't.
  • So, Lady Bellaston hints, Lord Fellamar may have to go to extremes to make Sophia his own.
  • Lady Bellaston invites Lord Fellamar to dinner at her house that evening.
  • She will show him how passionate Sophia is about Tom.