Henry Fielding was born on 22 April 1707 in Glastonbury, Somerset, at Sharpham Park, the country house of his maternal grandfather, Sir Henry Gould, which has been identified as at least one of the inspirations for Paradise Hall in Tom Jones. He was the eldest child in the large family (which would include the future novelist, Sarah Fielding, his favourite sister) of Sarah (Gould) and Major (later Major General) Edmund Fielding. Though his parents' marriage – a love match only grudgingly accepted by his mother's family – was not without serious tensions, generated in great part by financial and perhaps other imprudences on his father's part, Fielding's childhood in that west-country setting, like that of Tom Jones at …
Cleary, Thomas R.. "Henry Fielding". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2001; last revised 18 November 2008.
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