By J A Downie
Most sensible recognized at the present time because the writer of 3 seminal novels, Joseph Andrews, Tom Jones and Amelia, Henry Fielding (1707-1754) was once the main profitable playwright of his day until eventually Walpole positioned an finish to politics at the level by way of passing the theatrical Licensing Act of 1737 - 'the maximum dramatist, with the one exception of Shakespeare, produced through England among the center a long time and the 19th century', in line with George Bernard Shaw. Turning to political journalism, Fielding wrote the lead essays for periodicals equivalent to The Champion (1739-1741), the genuine Patriot (1745-1746) and The Jacobite's magazine (1747-1748), in addition to swingeing political satire in prose and verse. even if students agree that Fielding subscribed to Revolution ideas, present debts of his political rules are insufficiently acutely aware not just of the constitution of politics within the first half the eighteenth century, yet of the ways that a few of the strands of Whig political ideology constructed throughout the sixty years following the Revolution of 1688. This political biography explains and illustrates what 'being a Whig' intended to Fielding.
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Additional info for A Political Biography of Henry Fielding
Apart from occasional references to ‘fiery Partizans of State’, ‘Courtier[s]’, and ‘the South-Sea’,83 The Temple Beau was, however, innocent of topical political significance. For whatever reason, only one play of Fielding’s was produced at Goodman’s Fields. On 30 March 1730, barely two months after the première of The Temple Beau, The Author’s Farce opened in the West End, albeit at neither of the patent theatres. Over the next three weeks it was acted intermittently before being performed on 24 April with Tom Thumb as an afterpiece.
41 ant, was pardoned by George II. 102 As it happens, there are only accusations of rape, rather than actual rape, in Rape upon Rape. While this might serve as a paradigm for modern critical discussions of his early plays, in which critics have detected to their own satisfaction a series of anti-ministerial political innuendoes of varying plausibility that appear to have eluded contemporary audiences, in this case, as Goldgar argues, Fielding seems quite deliberately to be making a satirical point about the Charteris case.
Soon after he libelled him personally in a Satyr, and next Week had the Impudence to appear at his Levee. Upon Sir R[ober]t’s taxing him with his Ingratitude, and asking him why he had wrote so and so; he answered very readily, that he wrote that he might eat. However Sir R[ober]t still continued his Generosity to him, till he grew quite abandon’d to all Sense of Shame. 56 The reason this allegation needs to be carefully considered in relation to the attribution of ‘The Norfolk Lanthorn’ to Fielding is not on account of his possible authorship of some ephemeral verses at the Great Man’s expense.
A Political Biography of Henry Fielding by J A Downie