" Joseph Andrews is the first comic novel in English—a new species of writing..." -DNB
FIRST EDITION of Fielding's first novel, in handsome contemporary calf.
"Fielding’s Joseph Andrews was published anonymously in 1742. Described on the title page as 'Written in Imitation of the Manner of Cervantes, author of Don Quixote,' it begins as a burlesque of [Richardson's] Pamela, with Joseph, Pamela’s virtuous footman brother, resisting the attempts of a highborn lady to seduce him. The parodic intention soon becomes secondary, and the novel develops into a masterpiece of sustained irony and social criticism, with, at its centre, Parson Adams, one of the great comic figures of literature and a striking confirmation of the contention of the 19th-century Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky that the positively good man can be made convincing in fiction only if rendered to some extent ridiculous. Fielding explains in his preface that he is writing 'a comic Epic-Poem in Prose.' He was certainly inaugurating a new genre in fiction" (Britannica).
London: A. Millar, 1742. 12mo, contemporary full calf rebacked with original spines laid down. Two volumes. With four pages of ads at end of vol. 1; vol. 2 with one ad leaf opposite title and two pages of ads at rear. Early bookplate. Without spine label on vol. 1. Discoloration to margin of a few leaves in vol. 1; vol 2 clean. A very handsome set.
Price: $5,000 .