Henry Fielding, An Apology for the Life of Mrs Shamela Andrews

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Pat Rogers (University of South Florida)

Shamela (1741) is one of the funniest books ever to have played a part in changing literary history. Like his master Cervantes in Don Quixote (1605–15), Fielding used a variety of comic devices to construct a narrative that ridiculed a fashionable mode of writing. It is evident from the start that Fielding intends to undercut the overt message of the recent smash hit by Samuel Richardson, Pamela (1740), the first most talked about novel of the period. For the tale of a virtuous teenage servant girl, Pamela Andrews, repelling the advances of her lecherous master until she brings him to offer marriage, written in a serious and almost solemn vein, Fielding provides a scurrilous comedy, displaying …

2667 words

Citation: Rogers, Pat. "An Apology for the Life of Mrs Shamela Andrews". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 March 2022 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6686, accessed 07 February 2023.]

6686 An Apology for the Life of Mrs Shamela Andrews 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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