Book 15 Chapter 9 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.

In this chapter, Nightingale helps Tom out of his sticky situation with Lady Bellaston. Fielding also uses a curious word, "demirep," which dates to the mid-18th century. It means a woman who has both a good and a bad reputation simultaneously, where everyone knows that she isn't virtuous, but nobody will speak of it plainly. This is an incredibly Tom Jones-ean concept, since one of the main themes of the book is the intersection between perceived virtue and actual virtue.

AuthorMark Turetsky