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The Adventures of David Simple and Volume the Last

The Adventures of David Simple and Volume the Last

Sarah Fielding
Peter Sabor Editor
Copyright Date: 1998
Edition: 1
Pages: 442
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  • Book Info
    The Adventures of David Simple and Volume the Last
    Book Description:

    The Adventures of David Simple(1744), Sarah Fielding's first and most celebrated novel, went through several editions, the second of which was heavily revised by her brother Henry. This edition includes Henry's "corrections" in an appendix. In recounting the guileless hero's search for a true friend, the novel depicts the derision with which almost everyone treats his sentimental attitudes to human nature. Acclaimed as an accurate portrait of mid-eighteenth-century London,The Adventures of David Simplesets forth some provocative feminist ideas. Also included is Fielding's much darker sequel,Volume the Last (1753).

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4825-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. vii-xxxvii)

    Mary Scott’s graceful tribute inThe Female Advocate,that intriguing poetic celebration of “Female Geniuses,”¹ points directly to Sarah Fielding’s remarkable power as a psychological novelist: her fascination with the motivations of her characters and the frequent disparity between what they practise and what they profess. Scott was, however, by no means the first to praise Fielding in such terms. In his preface to the second edition ofThe Adventures of David Simple(1744), Sarah’s brother Henry likewise commends her “vast Penetration into human Nature, a deep and profound Discernment of all the Mazes, Windings and Labyrinths, which perplex the...

  5. Chronology of Events in Sarah Fielding’s Life
    (pp. xxxviii-xli)
  6. Note on the Text
    (pp. xlii-xlii)
  7. The Adventures of David Simple

    • [Middle Matter]
      (pp. 1-6)
    • BOOK I
      (pp. 7-60)

      MR.David Simplewas the eldest Son of Mr.Daniel Simple,who kept a Mercer’s Shop onLudgate-hill.¹ His Mother was a downright Country Woman, who originally got her Living by Plain-Work;² but being handsome, was liked by Mr.Simple.When, or where they met, or what happened to them during their Courtship, is foreign to my present Purpose, nor do I really know. But they were married, and lived many Years together, a very honest and industrious Life; to which it was owing, that they were able to provide very well for their Children. They had only two sons,...

    • BOOK II
      (pp. 61-114)

      David’snext Scheme was, to converse amongst People inHigh Life,¹ and try if theirMindswere as refined, as the Education and Opportunities they had of improving themselves, gave him hopes of. But then, as he had never lived at that end of the Town before,² kept no Equipage, and was besides a very modest Man, he was under some difficulty how to get Introduction to Persons of Fashion. Mr.Spattertold him, “he need be in no pain on that account, for that he frequented all the Assemblies, and kept the best Company in Town, and he would...

    • BOOK III
      (pp. 115-170)

      The next Day, the first OpportunityCamillahad of being alone withDavid,on his Desire she proceeded as follows.

      Valentinewas now all the Comfort I had left me; his Passions were either not so strong, or his Resolutions stronger; for he bore up much better than I did, altho’ I found his Sentiments were the same with mine. We were always together, from whichLiviapossessed my Father with an Opinion, that we were makingParties¹ in the House against them. I was so altered with the continual Uneasiness of my Mind, that no one would have known...

    • BOOK IV
      (pp. 171-238)

      My brother’s great Fondness forDorimenemade him, and consequently the whole Family, unhappy at every the least Indisposition of hers. She had hitherto been in the main very healthy; but now she fell into the Distemper the most shocking of all to see our Friends in: I know not by what Name to call it; but it was such a Dejection of her Spirits, that it made her grow perfectly childish. She could not speak without shedding Tears; nor sit a Moment without Sighing, as if some terrible Misfortune had befallen her. You may imagine the Condition my poor...

  8. The Adventures of David Simple, Volume the Last

    • [Middle Matter]
      (pp. 239-244)
    • BOOK V
      (pp. 245-262)

      ThatDavid Simple,having been for some Years retired from the World, and when all his Transactions had been so long buried in Oblivion, should again appear on the Stage, is owing to his having undergone a Variety of Accidents; and some as remarkable as any in his former Story. I therefore doubt not, but those Persons who were then pleased with his Character, will be no less pleased with knowing the Remainder of so very uncommon a Life: and for those who are yet unacquainted with our Hero, we hope his Character will in the following Pages appear strong...

    • BOOK VI
      (pp. 263-308)

      Davidand his Family were, to their great Comfort, quite settled in their new Habitation before the Return of Mr. and Mrs.Orgueil;for their Presence would, in all Probability, only have embarrassed them, and prevented their following their own Schemes with proper Alacrity: and, if any Judgment can be formed by their general Method of acting, this Couple would have been very generous of such Advice asDavid’sCircumstances would not admit him to follow; which Advice, nevertheless, they would not have given him the least Assistance to pursue. But, very unexpectedly, on their Return Mr.Orgueilexpressed his...

    • BOOK VII
      (pp. 309-342)

      DavidandCamillawere conversing on the Subject of the last Chapter of our last Book, and could not help (even with all their Experience of the World) being something astonished at such an Instance of Perfidy as they found in Mr.Ratcliff,when their Thoughts were driven into another Channel by the Receipt of the following Letter fromCynthia.

      “My dear Friends,

      “As I am sensible of your Anxiety on my Account, I cannot resist any Opportunity of conversing with you, although my favourite Inducement of writing, namely, the having it in my Power to communicate Chearfulness and Joy to...

  9. Appendices

    • Appendix I Henry Fielding’s Preface to the Second Edition (1744)
      (pp. 343-349)
    • Appendix II Substantive Variants between the First and Second Editions
      (pp. 350-366)
    • Appendix III Emendations
      (pp. 367-367)
    • Appendix IV Thomas Stothard’s Illustrations to the Novelist’s Magazine Edition (1782)
      (pp. 368-374)
  10. Notes to the Novel
    (pp. 375-394)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 395-399)