Fielding's satire on Richardsons's Pamela has survived its model in popularity for obvious reasons: the combination of breezy comedy, knockabout farce, lively narrative and vigorous satire is irresistible. But above all, it is the character of Parson Adams who continues to breathe life into the story, imbued as he is with so much of Fielding's own generosity, humanity and warm-heartedness. Conceived as a literary parody, Joseph Andrews (1742) rises triumphantly above its original purpose as a great novel in its own right. It is paired with the splendidly bawdy (Shamela 1741), another skit on Pamela. The explanatory notes are by Professor A. R. Humphreys. The Everyman edition is recognised as the definitive edition.
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