Category Archives: Fielding (Henry)

Reading Novels for Moral Instruction

“Tom Jones” teaches how to raise adolescents. And how not to.

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10 Famous Fetish Objects in Lit

Literature is filled with fetish objects that take on outsized significance to various characters.

Also posted in Dickens (Charles), Poe (Edgar Allan), Pope (Alexander), Proust (Marcel), Rushdie (Salman), Shakespeare (William), Sir Gawain Poet, Wycherley (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sexual Misconduct in the Classics

A sexual misconduct course required of all employees got me thinking of problematic situations in the books that I teach.

Also posted in Austen (Jane), Behn (Aphra), Bronte (Charlotte), Burney (Fanny), Euripides, Montagu (Lady Mary Wortley), Sir Gawain Poet, Wilmot (John) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Comedy & Sentiment, a Potent Mixture

Literature that moves the heart seems opposed to comedy, but sometimes they work together.

Also posted in Austen (Jane), MacKenzie (Henry), Richardson (Samuel), Sheridan (Richard), Wilde (Oscar) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lit’s Ten Most Sensitive Guys

To match my 10 strongest literary women characters, here are my 10 most sensitive male characters.

Also posted in Austen (Jane), Baldwin (James), Dickens (Charles), Dostoevsky (Fyodor), Fitzgerald (F. Scott), McCarthy (Cormac), Melville (Herman), Milton (John), Steinbeck (John) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Love Life, Say No to Christian Masochism

Tom Jones gives us a healthier vision of Christianity than that which puts all the emphasis on worldly suffering.

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Taking a Break from Politics

Sometimes, like Mr. Hardcastle in “She Stoops to Conquer,” one needs a break from the world’s news.

Also posted in Goldsmith (Oliver) | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Fielding’s Satire Applied to the 1%

Fielding satiric attacks on the cheats of his day could apply to Wall Street financiers and other wealthy Americans who refuse to share.

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Life as a Stage Coach Ride

America is in many ways like the stage coach rides described by Samuel Johnson and Henry Fielding.

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Bloggers Confused Like Novelists of Old

Bloggers are facing confusion about rules similar to that faced by early novelists.

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Lit Options for Election Day Defeat

Responding to election day loss, will we be calm like Henry Fielding or in agony like Grendel?

Also posted in Beowulf Poet | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s the Pictures that Got Small

Watching movies at home makes them something other than movies.

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Novels and Baseball Fans, Fixated on Time

As I watched the amazing day of baseball last Wednesday, I found myself thinking (being the literature nerd that I am) that the English novel was invented to do justice to reality when it got this dramatic and complex.

Also posted in Defoe (Daniel), Dickens (Charles), Sterne (Lawrence) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One of Literature’s Sexiest Eating Scenes

Homer gains Fielding’s admiration by his ability to move seamlessly between epic grandeur and “the shameless dog of the belly.” Perhaps it is Homer’s dexterity that gives Fielding the idea for his own contribution to “Great Eating Scenes in Literature.”

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Eric Cantor and Famous Literary Sneers

If you’ve been paying any attention to America’s budget battles, you know that Congressional Republicans are currently engaged in a dangerous game of chicken with President Obama over raising the debt ceiling. Today’s post on the subject features a parallel with Macbeth and a glance at famous literary sneers.

Also posted in Bronte (Emily), Shakespeare (William), Shelley (Percy) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Bridging the 18th-Century Generation Gap

Henry Fielding Yesterday my 18th Century Couples Comedy class concluded our discussion of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones. We spent a lot of time talking about how it was popular with youthful readers in the 18th century, an idea I owe to J. Paul Hunter, my dissertation director at Emory University. Paul explores the issue in […]

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Idealism Under Siege, Irony to the Rescue

The Princess Bride, True Love Triumphant  In my Tom Jones class earlier this week, one of my students (Erin Hendrix) noted that one of the passages made her think of a scene in the movie The Princess Bride. This led to a discussion of how both works employ irony to help us hold on to […]

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Henry Fielding’s Comic Touch

William Hogarth, “Morning.” I’ve just written a series of serious posts about literature and virtue, but since it’s Friday, let me go out of the week on a light note. Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones is not admired the way it once was, but one would be hard pressed to find any novel that is funnier. […]

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