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Joseph Andrews

Henry Fielding

Summary and Analysis Book II: Chapter 1

Summary

Fielding briefly justifies his division of Joseph Andrews into sections or "books." He refers wryly to the sanction provided by Homer and Virgil, who divided their epics into "books." Moreover, he says, modem authors can make more money by publishing piecemeal. Fielding stresses that, by dividing his novel into separate books, his readers are afforded a sort of "inn or resting-place" for contemplating what they have just read. As readers of a novel organized by one "initiated into the science of authoring," we need time to take stock of the patterns that have been developing. Only by doing this will we fully understand some "curious productions of nature"; in effect, Fielding helps us get at the "meat" of this work by "carving" it for us.