HomeLiterature Study GuidesTom JonesBook 13 Chapters 1 4 Summary

Tom Jones | Study Guide

Henry Fielding

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Tom Jones | Book 13, Chapters 1–4 : Containing the Space of Twelve Days. | Summary

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Summary

Book 13, Chapter 1

Fielding begins with a mock-heroic invocation to a muse—calling her "the love of fame." He says, "Fill my ravished fancy with the hope of charming ages yet to come." He asks that some "tender maid, whose grandmother is yet unborn" will read about the fictional Sophia and perceive the real worth of his wife, Charlotte, who once existed. He asks that he might "foresee ... enjoy ... feed on future praise," and that he will be read with honor, long after he is gone.

The author then calls on the muse of fortune to ensure his book makes money. Finally he calls on genius, humanity, learning, and experience to inspire his pen.

Book 13, Chapter 2

Jones and Partridge finally arrive in London, and the hero finds out where Mrs. Fitzpatrick is staying. Mrs. Fitzpatrick is cautious when she sees Tom, thinking he is Mr. Blifil, and thus will not give him any information. After he leaves her maid Betty says he is probably Mr. Jones. She knows his story from Mrs. Honour and now tells it to Mrs. Fitzpatrick. But she still thinks it might be best to keep Sophia away from such a rake.

Book 13, Chapter 3

Upon reflection Mrs. Fitzpatrick is a little upset that her cousin concealed her affection for Mr. Jones. She now thinks she has a chance to reconcile with her Uncle and Aunt Western by preventing a marriage between Sophia and her unsuitable love interest. She is also a distant relation of Lady Bellaston and resolves to take the matter to her, since this older woman is a known foe of romantic love and "indiscreet marriages."

When Mrs. Fitzpatrick visits early in the morning, she learns Bellaston has already heard of Jones, through her maid Etoff, who says he is a very handsome fellow. Mrs. Fitzpatrick suggests getting in touch with Squire Western, but Bellaston says she would rather find her a suitable match for Sophia. The women arrange for Bellaston to visit that afternoon since Jones is planning to call on Mrs. Fitzpatrick.

Book 13, Chapter 4

When Jones calls Mrs. Fitzpatrick says she doesn't know where her cousin is and asks him his business. He then relays his desire to return her pocketbook, and just then Lady Bellaston comes in. The peer also arrives, and the three of them begin talking as if Tom doesn't exist. Mrs. Fitzpatrick tells him to leave his address. Afterward the three begin abusing the name of Tom Jones, and Bellaston says Sophia is "in no danger of this fellow."

Analysis

In Book 13, Chapter 1 which begins the last third of the novel, in which Tom enters the town and will work out his destiny, Fielding creates both a comic and majestic invocation that cannot help but move the reader. In no other part of the work does the narrator seem to be so clearly Henry Fielding, facing the author's sad realization of the likelihood that his words will disappear into the ether with him once he is dead. Yet he believed in the possibility of his fame and that he will charm the ages to follow, and, indeed, here are his readers studying his work more than two and a half centuries later. Fielding was still mourning the death of his beloved wife, Charlotte, only a few years dead, and his sorrow is apparent in his hope that she will be remembered in his fictional rendition of Sophia. Fielding strikes a more playful note when he calls on the muse of fortune to send him money, but he reiterates the four qualities he believes a writer of fiction should have, which he has explained in depth earlier in Book 9, Chapter 1.

When Mrs. Fitzpatrick realizes who Tom Jones is in Book 13, Chapter 2 and that her cousin was not forthright about her entire history, she gets annoyed. But Sophia is proved to be correct in keeping her own counsel, because the first thing Harriet thinks about is how she can use her cousin's situation to advance her own agenda. She does not wish to be indefinitely dependent on the likes of the Irish peer, and it appears as if the Westerns are her only relatives. Thus like Partridge, she thinks if she can bring Sophia home she will be rewarded by being accepted back into their good graces. Mrs. Western disowned her after she ran off with Fitzpatrick, and by extension so has the squire. Harriet thinks to bring Lady Bellaston in to support her plan. This rich, single woman and a cousin of Mrs. Western already knows about Tom and is anxious to meet him because she has heard he is handsome. She is a female rake, although neither cousin knows that yet. Bellaston covers her designs by saying, after Jones leaves the house in Book 13, Chapter 4, that he is nothing much to worry about.

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