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Joseph Andrews and Shamela
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Joseph Andrews and Shamela

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  1,540 ratings  ·  82 reviews

Henry Fielding wrote both Joseph Andrews (1742) and Shamela (1741) in response to Samuel Richardson's book Pamela (1740), of which Shamela is a splendidly bawdy travesty. Joseph Andrews begins as a parody, too, but soon outgrows its origins, and its deepest roots lie in Cervantes and Marivaux. In both stories, Fielding demonstrates his concern for the corruption of contemp

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Published by Neeland Media (first published 1742)
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Jul 08, 2008 Eric marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
One constant of the Life of Johnson is Johnson's praise of Richardson at the expense of Fielding. I've read neither but the tone of Johnson's appraisal (one is all noble sentiment, the other low raillery that teaches bad morals) is quaint and hectoring, and makes me want to read Fielding.
I don't think it is possible for me to review this book without thinking of "Pamela." Really, there is no contest. True, Richardson's prose is a little more approachable on a sentence level, but Fielding isn't generally presenting the thoughts of a naive girl. Beyond that, Fielding wins hands down. He isn't trite, his characters feel more fully human, and he's funny. More important, he only tells the things of interest that happen and doesn't stretch them out to four or five times the length of ...more
Read Samuel Richardson's "Pamela" first. This is the hilarious spoof of that famous work. It's a literary geek necessity.
Dan Schwent
This was a reading assignment from my then girlfriend during her 19th century novels class. It was an interesting read. Parson Adams overshadows the title character by miles, though.
I really enjoyed this book the second time around because I could understand a lot of the literary and mythological references much better. NOTE: Because this book is so old, I would recommend the Oxford World's Classics edition which has a great introduction and explanatory notes. I haven't read Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded, and I don't think that it is really necessary, at least not if you bother to find out about it and the feud between Richardson and Fielding (well explained in the OWC edition ...more
From this book I learned that attractive women in the 18c were in constant danger of being groped or abducted, that reading Aeschylus does not make you an expert in irony, and that you should always be suspicious of the identity of your parents.
Absolutely hilarious! Cudgel sticks and saucy jackanapes' abound!

I LOVE this story - it's ridiculous, it's fun, it's zany, and it's well-thought-out too! Parson Adams is a wonderful character and a very unique and full creation. Fielding does an excellent job of making us love him while also laughing at him. The story here is, at times, convenient, but the point (hypocrisy and vanity are ridiculous) comes across really well, as does the satire. I really enjoyed all the supplemental materials in
A rare combination of the high-brow and the bawdy comical. A journey completed by a host of characters, each loveable in their own way -- Joseph and his unfaltering nobility, Parson Adams with his focus on Christian virtues but also willingness to have a drunken brawl at every occasion, and the rest -- across eighteenth-century England. The intrigues and other contrived occurences work because they are such deft parodies of Defoe and Richardson. The narrative is frequently interrupted by a self- ...more
There is among the critics contemporary to fielding some who praised Richardson over Fielding and this calls for a second examination of how it is perceived now; I am afraid I am not different that those some two hundred years ago; Truly Fielding seem to miss the point in a novel. This response to Pamela, in my opinion, has little to offer in terms of a compelling plot; you want to parody Pamela by all means do but provide me with an enjoyable account instead of a long boring joke that in every ...more
Melissa Blanco
I had to read this for a Literature course at uni and I always finish a book I have started. What to say? I did not enjoy reading Joseph Andrews; it just didn't capture my attention.

Take a chance on the book; you may love it!
Justin Evans
Richardson seems to me to be a prig; Defoe completely insufferable; Swift and Pope perhaps too smarmy even for me. And I like smarm. According to the introduction Fielding's meant to be more conservative than Richardson (these novels both take their main characters from Richardson's 'Pamela'), but as far as I can tell, this is an almost meaningless statement. Unlike Richardson and his characters, Fielding and his are warm and kind; Fielding attacks the stupidities of human kind that need attacki ...more
Shamela is a witty satire of Richardson's Pamela, while Joseph Andrews is a gender reversal of Pamela, of virtue and predator, foreshadowing Fielding's Tom Jones with its bawdy, country-roaming plot, and including many pointed digs at social and cultural hypocrisy.
Not Fielding's most brilliant work, maybe because it's too referential. Granted, Richardson's Pamela is well worth the stabs Fielding takes, but I want to go back to Tom Jones now because of what I knew it had and this doesn't. Fielding writes brilliant sentences and offers great and humorous looks into the human animal, but this isn't as compelling as the tale of the handsome young ne'er do well.
The thing is here, that while I think Shamela was a bit too obvious, as far as Fielding's satire goes, Joseph Andrews is incredibly good. It's hard to judge a book like this, when it has two distinct parts.
Shamela is worthless unless you've read the novel it is making fun of, Pamela by Samuel Richardson. It's funny, but just takes the same barbs you would expect at anything written from such a holier-than-thou perspective.
Strangely, Joseph Andrews is also a parody of Pamela, but is not so direct
Yeah... this just wasn't my cup of tea. I just found Joseph Andrews incredibly hard to get through and, sorry for being blunt, a bit boring.
Rachel Brand
Read for EN3161: The Development of the Novel to 1840 (2012)

I really tried to finish "Joseph Andrews" but I found it so incredibly tedious, both as an audiobook and a physical book. There were so many classic references that I didn't understand that made me wonder whether a modern reader, without a classical education, can truly appreciate this book. I know that some people find the humour in this novel absolutely hilarious, but I wasn't one of them. I made it about halfway through this book bef
Shamela was funnier than Joseph Andrews. Joseph dragged. I'm sure it was much funnier in its time though, but not being able to appreciate references to now-obscure people or literature of the day I was rather left with the bawdy humour - Mrs Slipslop, Mr and Lady Booby, etc. Things picked up in the last 50 pages, and my first out-loud laugh was on page 277 (without spoiling it: when Parson Adams's long speech ending with Abraham and Isaac was followed by the servant coming in and announcing som ...more
Overall very entertaining. Wrote a detailed review here:

Dreadful. Boring. Another one of those books they force English students to read. They are both parodies of Pamela, which is also irritating. I could only force myself to read volume 1 of Joseph Andrews because it was so sleep inducing.
Clive Illman
Laughed from first page to last. Out loud, like a lunatic. Probably my age.
Ali Ammo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It was a bit drilling because of the language and the multiple references and footnotes... But it was interesting and funny enough, at least the stuff I caught. Surely with a better knowledge of the context and the English of the time I could have enjoyed it much better, though. I especially liked all the twingling drama between families, servants, and class-relations, and the most boring stuff to me were the small adventures along the way, at the inns and stuff. I hope my lecturer gives me a br ...more
henry fielding
Feb 19, 2008 Lara rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
So far, I don't like this book much. It's slow and overly written. I also don't care for his random interjections of nonsense. I hope no one asks me about this in my comp exams.

Me liking this book is just not going to work. I hate how slowly the book is as well as the virtuous messages throughout the enitre novel. I personally believe that the world would have been a better place without Joseph Andrews, Pamela, Shamela, and Anti-Pamela. If you don't like 18th century literature, don't read this.
near ** because in the middle it is far too much "the adventures and discussions of parson Adams". But the beginning and the end is great, especially when you know "Pamela".
Apr 21, 2007 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Comedy lovers
Shelves: college
A great, hilarious novel reacting to Richardson's novel Pamela, where a virtuous young woman must resist the sexual advances of her employer. Here, Jospeh Andrews, Pamela's brother, must resist the advances of his employer, a wealthy woman, in order to be restored to his childhood love. There are all kinds of mix-ups and throughout Parson Adams tries to offer advice. Possibly more enjoyable if you've slogged through the boredom that is Pamela but definately a fun read.
I've always been fascinated and befuddled by Pamela: Virtue Rewarded so I was excited to find Shamela, a parody of it. And was amazed at the repeated use of the word "slut" in an 18th century work.

Joseph Andrews is a more substantial story, also full of wit but with more heart and less bite.
I read this for a class my sophomore year called "What Jane Austen Read" and these were perhaps the two most enjoyable books we read, aside from the Austen novels themselves. I personally hated the book "Pamela" and so I found the parody quite funny. Joseph Andrews was more serious and a very enjoyable read with a relatively light story ling. I'm enamored with the language of that period so I very much enjoy books of this time.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This novel by Fielding was part of a parody in answer to Richardson's "Pamela", and follows the Don Quixote-like adventures of a gaggle of characters traveling together in the English countryside. Themes such as the importance of charity, social status, and academic learning vs. world experience crop up in this meandering 18th century self-aware novel.
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  • A Sentimental Journey and Other Writings
  • The Wanderer: or, Female Difficulties
  • The Expedition of Humphry Clinker
  • Roxana
  • The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia
  • Love in Excess
  • The Female Quixote: or, the Adventures of Arabella
  • Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded
  • A Tale of a Tub and Other Works
  • The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works
  • Caleb Williams
  • The Beggar's Opera
  • The Beaux' Stratagem
  • The Egoist
  • The Man of Feeling
  • A Simple Story
  • The Major Works
  • The Italian
Henry Fielding was born in Somerset in 1707. The son of an army lieutenant and a judge's daughter, he was educated at Eton School and the University of Leiden before returning to England where he wrote a series of farces, operas and light comedies.

Fielding formed his own company and was running the Little Theatre, Haymarket, when one of his satirical plays began to upset the government. The passin
More about Henry Fielding...

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“I have often wondered, Sir, [. . .] to observe so few Instances of Charity among Mankind; for tho' the Goodness of a Man's Heart did not incline him to relieve the Distresses of his Fellow-Creatures, methinks the Desire of Honour should move him to it. What inspires a Man to build fine Houses, to purchase fine Furniture, Pictures, Clothes, and other things at a great Expence, but an Ambition to be respected more than other People? Now would not one great Act of Charity, one Instance of redeeming a poor Family from all the Miseries of Poverty, restoring an unfortunate Tradesman by a Sum of Money to the means of procuring a Livelihood by his Industry, discharging an undone Debtor from his Debts or a Goal, or any such Example of Goodness, create a Man more Honour and Respect than he could acquire by the finest House, Furniture, Pictures or Clothes that were ever beheld? For not only the Object himself who was thus relieved, but all who heard the Name of such a Person must, I imagine, reverence him infinitely more than the Possessor of all those other things: which when we so admire, we rather praise the Builder, the Workman, the Painter, the Laceman, the Taylor, and the rest, by whose Ingenuity they are produced, than the Person who by his Money makes them his own.” 6 likes
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