Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 4, Chapter 1

By Henry Fielding

Book 4, Chapter 1

Containing Five Pages of Paper

  • The narrator insists that this history is not like earlier romance stories, which often seem like products of the author's drunken fantasies.
  • (If Fielding were alive today, we think he would call this an example of a work "always attended with a tankard of good ale" (4.1.1)—because only alcohol can explain the plot.)
  • Still, this is a very longnovel, and the narrator admits that he needs to liven things up sometimes.
  • In the epic tradition of Homer (see our list of "Allusions" for more on this guy), the hero (or in this case, heroine) of the tale only appears after some kind of dramatic announcement.
  • Trumpets should sound or someone should throw out flowers to announce the arrival of our new main character.
  • The narrator isn't exactly going to go with trumpets.
  • But it is his plan to announce our heroine in high literary style, as she deserves.