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Joseph Andrews Summary | Henry Fielding

Hey Viewers! Literature Desire welcomes you back to another insightful and educational blog post. Our topic of interest today is Henry Fielding’s Novel, “The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams.” In this blog, we will explore the summary of “Joseph Andrews.”

Henry Fielding’s first complete novel, “The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams,” was published in 1742 and is one of the earliest novels in the English language.

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In “Joseph Andrews,” the theme of chastity is important. Joseph and Fanny want to be together but decide to wait until they are married to be intimate. Chastity is very important in their relationship. While Fanny and Joseph wait for marriage, Andy is just looking for love and the right woman.

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Summary of Joseph Andrews

Joseph Andrews is a handsome young footman. Sir Thomas Booby hires Joseph because his wife, Lady Booby, is attracted to him. Mr. Abraham Adams, the parson of the parish(a local clergyman who plays a significant role in both the church and the community), also likes Joseph for his Christian attitude. He wants to help Joseph develop morally and intellectually. However, before Mr. Adams can start teaching Joseph Latin, Lady Booby and her husband leave the countryside for London, taking Joseph with them.

In London, after a year, Sir Thomas dies. After her husband’s death, Lady Booby starts flirting with Joseph. Joseph does not respond to her advances. He writes a letter to his sister Pamela, wondering how a woman like Lady Booby, with her high social status, could be interested in a mere servant. 

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Lady Booby invites Joseph to sleep with her, but he does not understand her sexual desire. His virtue angers Lady Booby, so she fires Joseph from his job. She then feels conflicted about whether to keep him or not. Joseph heads back to Lady Booby’s country parish. Here, he reunites with his childhood love and now fiancée, the illiterate milkmaid Fanny Goodwill.

On his First Night Time on the Road:

On his first night on the road, robbers attack Joseph, leaving him in a ditch to die after beating and robbing him. Soon, a stagecoach approaches. The driver takes Joseph and the other passengers to an inn.

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At the inn, Betty, the chambermaid, cares for him, and a surgeon says his injuries might be fatal. However, Joseph disregards the surgeon’s prognosis and recovers the next day, receiving a visit from Mr. Barnabas, the clergyman. The innkeeper’s wife, Mrs. Tow-wouse, offers little hospitality. 

Soon, Mr. Adams arrives on his way to London to publish some volumes of his sermons. Joseph is delighted to see him, and Adams treats him to several meals despite not having much money himself. 

Adams tries to borrow money from Mr. Tow-wouse by offering his sermons as collateral. Adams meets a bookseller through Mr. Barnabas, hoping to get his sermons published.

Summary of Joseph Andrews:

However, the bookseller is not interested in selling sermons, and their discussion is unproductive. Since Adams left his sermons at home, he had no reason to go to London. Joseph and Adams decide to take turns riding Adams’s horse on their journey home.

On their way, Adams takes the wrong path and meets a partridge hunter. While talking, they hear a young woman screaming. Adams goes to rescue her while the hunter runs away. He saves the woman from an attempted rape and discovers that she is Joseph’s beloved, Fanny Goodwill.

Adams and Fanny proceed to the next inn, where they are supposed to meet Joseph. Joseph and Fanny have a joyful reunion at the inn. Joseph wants to get married immediately, but both Mr. Adams and Fanny decide to be more patient.

In the morning, the group realizes they cannot pay for their lodging. Adams goes to find a wealthy parson of the parish. A peddler hears about their problem and gives Adams the money they need.

As they continue their journey, they encounter a dishonest landowner and some sheep thieves. After a series of events, they find shelter with a kind family, the Wilsons. 

The next morning, they leave. While walking, Mr. Adams and Joseph discuss Wilson’s life story and the nature of good and evil. Eventually, they stop to eat but are attacked by hunting dogs.

Summary of Joseph Andrews:

After another series of adventures, the group returns to the country parish, and Lady Booby arrives shortly after. She feels torn between her attraction to Joseph and her concern for her social status. 

Lady Booby who is jealous of Fanny, takes a lawful motion to get Fanny exiled from the parish. Mr. Booby, who is the nephew of Lady Booby, arrives with his spouse Pamela. Pamela is the sister of Joseph.

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Mr. Booby rescues his brother-in-law and Fanny for the duration of their punishment. He tells Joseph that he wishes to make him a nobleman. He advises Joseph to wreck off his engagement to Fanny after being influenced by the aid of his aunt.

Mr. Booby claims that Fanny is negative and will turn out to be a bother at reaching a state-of-the-art social rank. But Joseph stays loyal to Fanny.

The bad peddler comes into the parish where the team met on the road. He tells Fanny that her mother and father are Mr. and Mrs. Andrews. The information was once shocking for all, due to the fact in accordance to that Joseph and Fanny are brother and sister. However, the next day, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews arrive. Mrs. Andrews tells the story that her daughter was once kidnapped as a baby and replaced with Joseph.

The peddler then reveals that the kind hosts who sheltered Joseph, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, are the dad and mom of Joseph. In the end, Joseph and Fanny get married, and Mr. Booby gives them enough money to live comfortably.

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