Book 3 Chapter 6 of Tom Jones.

This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding's Tom Jones over the course of four years.

Now things are beginning to get interesting! It seems like both Square and Thwackum are trying to woo Bridget/Mrs. Blifil! This apparently explains their hated of Tom Jones and also their professed affection for young Blifil. Little do they know that she hates her son, and is entirely inappropriately affectionate to young Tom. Furthermore, rumor around town is that the reason the widow Blifil is so taken with Tom is that he's now a strapping young lad of 18, and she's in love with him! Scandal!

Also, it seems like time certainly has past. Over the last few chapters, we've gone from Tom being around 14, to Blifil being 16, to Tom now being 18. And yet nothing much has happened, aside from a summation of the changing family politics of the Allworthy household.

A note on this week's illustration. It's from stage 4 of A Harlot's Progress, by William Hogarth. The jailer on the left is said to resemble Thwackum exactly. I like the winking woman in the middle.

AuthorMark Turetsky