The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom

The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom

TOBIAS SMOLLETT
Introduction and Notes by JERRY C. BEASLEY
The Text Edited by O M BRACK
Edited by JERRY C. BEASLEY
Copyright Date: 1988
Pages: 528
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt46n8cb
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  • Book Info
    The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom
    Book Description:

    The first novel by a major English writer that is devoted to a thoroughgoing portrait of villainy,The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathomchronicles the life of an aberrant criminal character. Filled with striking satiric thrusts at the legal, medical, and military establishments of mid-eighteenth-century Europe and England, the novel reveals Tobias Smollett's capacities as a commentator on contemporary life.

    First published in 1753,Ferdinand Count Fathomis an experimental work that explores the relations between history and fiction and introduces, for the first time in the English novel, episodes of Gothic melodrama. Too long neglected and never before available in a carefully prepared scholarly edition,Ferdinand Count Fathommay now be read, understood, and appreciated against the literary and historical background of the eighteenth-century world.

    eISBN: 978-0-8203-4642-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xix-xlii)

    On or about 15 February 1753, a little more than a month before his thirty-third birthday, Tobias Smollett published his newest novel,The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, in two duodecimo volumes.¹ This work followedThe Adventures of Peregrine Pickleby almost exactly two years, and it came half a decade after its author’s only real literary triumph to date,The Adventures of Roderick Random.² Neither Smollett’s second novel nor his third caused much of a stir.Ferdinand Count Fathomin particular suffered neglect at the hands of readers and reviewers; and Smollett, after two comparative failures in a row,...

  8. The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom
    • VOLUME ONE
      (pp. 1-166)

      You and I, my good friend, have often deliberated on the difficulty of writing such a Dedication as might gratify the self-complacency of a patron, without exposing the author to the ridicule or censure of the public; and I think we generally agreed that the task was altogether impracticable—Indeed, this was one of the few subjects on which we have always thought in the same manner: for notwithstanding that deference and regard which we mutually pay to each other, certain it is, we have often differed, according to the predominancy of those different passions, which frequently warp the opinion,...

    • VOLUME TWO
      (pp. 167-360)

      Among those who were distinguished by his gallantry, was the young wife of an old citizen of London, who had granted her permission to reside at the Hot-well for the benefit of her health, under the eye and inspection of his own sister, who was a maiden of fifty years. The pupil, whose name was Mrs. Trapwell,¹ though low in stature, was finely shaped, her countenance engaging, though her complexion was brown, her hair in colour rivalled the raven’s back, and her eyes emulated the lustre of the diamond. Fathom had been struck with her first appearance; but found it...

  9. NOTES TO THE TEXT
    (pp. 361-440)
  10. TEXTUAL COMMENTARY
    (pp. 441-452)

    Little is known of the circumstances surrounding Smollett’s composition ofThe Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, but the manuscript must have been sufficiently complete in early November 1752 for William Johnston to purchase the copyright for £120. Although the agreement is lost, William Strahan indicates that he purchased a one-third share in the novel for £40 from Johnston on 8 November.¹ Since Strahan became a partner in the book he would seem to be the obvious choice for printer, but there is no record of his having printed it and the evidence gathered from comparingFerdinand Count Fathomwith other...

  11. LIST OF EMENDATIONS
    (pp. 453-454)
  12. TEXTUAL NOTES
    (pp. 455-456)
  13. WORD-DIVISION
    (pp. 457-458)
  14. HISTORICAL COLLATION
    (pp. 459-462)
  15. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTIONS
    (pp. 463-464)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 465-480)
  17. TABLE OF CORRECTIONS
    (pp. 481-482)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 483-483)