Humphry Clinker (The Penguin English Library)
By: Tobias Smollett (author)Paperback
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The Penguin English Library Edition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smollett'What is the society of London, that I should be tempted, for its sake, to mortify my senses, and compound with such uncleanness as my soul abhors?'Smollett's savage, boisterously funny lambasting of eighteenth-century British society charts the unfortunate journey of the gout-ridden and irascible squire Matthew Bramble across Britain, who finds himself everywhere surrounded by decadents, pimps, con-men, raucousness and degeneracy - until the arrival of the trusty manservant Humphry Clinker promises to improve his fortunes. Populated with unforgettable grotesques and written with a relish for earthy humour and wordplay, and a ferocious pessimism, Humphry Clinker is Smollett's masterpiece.The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
Tobias Smollett (1721-71) was the very model of everything that made 18th-century London life so enjoyable. Born and educated in Scotland, he trained to become a surgeon and settled in Jamaica. During the War of Jenkins' Ear he was involved in the catastrophic British naval assault on Cartagena, an event he immortalized in his very funny first novel Roderick Random (1748). He tried and failed to balance a medical career and a literary one, eventually settling in London and turning out less good novels, journalism and history. Yet he was one of the extraordinary group around Sterne, Goldsmith and Garrick and was, with Fielding, one of the masters of the comic picaresque novel which would so influence Dickens. In 1766 he published one of the great travel books, Travels in France and Italy, which single-handedly launched the genre of the splenetic, xenophobic and unreasonable Briton abroad. Humphry Clinker, his masterpiece, was published just before his death.
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- ID: 9780141199320
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