The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom (Penguin Classics)

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9780140433074: The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom (Penguin Classics)

The hero of "Ferdinand Count Fathom" (1753) is a monster of treachery and fraud. Fate and coincidence play a large part in his picaresque progress through England and Europe, and much of the narrative is written in a mock-heroic style.

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About the Author:

Tobias is the author of several books, inclu ding the Adventures of Roderick Random and the Adventures of Peregrine Pickle.

Review:

The appearance of the first volume of a major scholarly edition of the works of Tobias Smollett is an important event. . . . If the other editors of separate volumes in the series but match Beasley's work with Fathom, the whole project has been well worth the long wait. He has done a superb job. The introduction defines the place of this novel in Smollett's whole career. Also Beasley develops arguments that Fathom was a notable experiment in fiction, 'a serious and unblushing representation of remorseless (at least until the end) villainy,' and that the work represents an attempt to discover a way of presenting the relation between fiction and real life. Beasley's notes, more comprehensive than any ever offered before, are especially illuminating as identifications of literary allusions and historical references. No major research library can afford to pass over this volume. Indeed, all major libraries will want to subscribe to the entire edition. Most highly recommended.

(Choice)

The appearance of Ferdinand Count Fathom is a cause for great celebration. . . . [Beasley’s] detailed and stylish introduction places this neglected novel (so clearly the ancestor of Thackeray’s Barry Lyndon) in the various contexts of Smollett’s career, the eighteenth-century literary scene, and the tradition of the novel. His textual notes are comprehensive, reliable, and exact. . . . It is impossible to imagine anything superseding it for many years to come.

(Eighteenth-Century Scotland)

One of the major benefits of Beasley’s excellent edition of Fathom will be to make Smollett’s most experimental novel better known to eighteenth-century scholars, but also, thanks to its wealth of annotations, to convey to a wider public an intuitive sense of what is felt like to be living in mid-eighteenth century Britain.

(Studies in Scottish Literature)

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Smollett, Tobias
Published by Penguin Classics (1990)
ISBN 10: 0140433074 ISBN 13: 9780140433074
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