Short summary - The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling - Henry Fielding

British literature summaries -

Short summary - The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
Henry Fielding

In the house of a wealthy squire Alverty, where he lives with his sister Bridget, they throw a baby. Squire, who lost his wife and children several years ago, decides to raise a child as his own son. Soon, he manages to find the mother of the foundling, the poor village woman Jenny Jones. Olverti does not manage to learn from her the name of the boy’s father, but since Jenny repents of her act, the squire does not transfer the case to court, but only expels Jenny from her native places, having previously loaned her a large amount. Alverti continues to search for the father of the child. His suspicion falls on the village teacher Partridge, from whom Jenny took Latin lessons for a long time. At Olverty’s insistence, the case is brought to court. The wife of the teacher, who had long been jealous of him for Jenny, accuses her husband of all mortal sins, and no one has any doubt that the teacher is the father of the boy.

Squire's sister, Bridget, marries Captain Blythe, and they have a son. Tom Jones, a cub who won Alverty’s love, is brought up with young Blythe, but the greedy and envious captain, fearing that Alverty’s fortune will go to the cub, hates him, trying to defame the boy in the eyes of his named father by any means. After some time, the captain suddenly dies, and Bridget becomes a widow. From an early age, Tom is not distinguished by exemplary behavior. Unlike Blyfil - beyond his years of restrained, pious and diligent - Tom does not show zeal in study and his mischief constantly disturbs Alverty and Bridget. Despite this, everyone in the house loves a young man for his kindness and responsiveness. Blyfil never takes part in Tom’s games, but condemns his tricks and does not miss the chance to report back for inappropriate pastime. But Tom never gets angry with him and sincerely loves Blyfil as a brother.


From childhood, Tom has been friends with Sophia, the daughter of Alverty's neighbor, a wealthy Western squire. They spend a lot of time together and become inseparable friends.

To educate young men, Alverty invites the theologian Twacom and the philosopher Squire to the house, who present one requirement to their students: they should mindlessly cram their lessons and not have their own opinions. From the very first days, Blaifil gains their sympathy, since he carefully memorizes all their instructions. But Tom is not interested in repeating common truths after arrogant and arrogant tutors, and he finds other activities for himself.

Tom spends all his free time in the house of a poor beggar, whose family is starving. The young man, as far as possible, tries to help the unfortunate, giving them all his pocket money. Upon learning that Tom sold his Bible and a horse, presented to him by Alverty, and gave the money to the watchman's family, Blyfil and both teachers rage upon the young man in anger, considering his deed worthy of reprimand, while Alverty is touched by the kindness of his beloved. There is another reason that makes Tom spend so much time with the watchman's family: he is in love with Molly, one of his daughters. A carefree and frivolous girl immediately accepts his courtship, and soon her family learns that Molly is pregnant. This message is instantly distributed throughout the county. Sophia Western, who has long loved Tom, is desperate. He is Used to seeing in her only the girlfriend of his childhood games, he only now notices how she blossomed. Unbeknownst to himself, Tom becomes more and more attached to the girl, and over time, this attachment develops into love. Tom is deeply unhappy because he realizes that he is now obligated to marry Molly. However, things take an unexpected turn: Tom catches Molly in the arms of his teacher, the philosopher Squire. After some time, Tom learns that Molly is not pregnant at all from him, and therefore considers herself free from any obligations to her. However, things take an unexpected turn: Tom catches Molly in the arms of his teacher, the philosopher Squire. After some time, Tom learns that Molly is not pregnant at all from him, and therefore considers herself free from any obligations to her. However, things take an unexpected turn: Tom catches Molly in the arms of his teacher, the philosopher Squire. After some time, Tom learns that Molly is not pregnant at all from him, and therefore considers herself free from any obligations to her.

Meanwhile, Squire Alverty is seriously ill. Sensing the approach of the end, he gives the last orders regarding the inheritance. Only Tom alone, passionately loving his named father, is inconsolable, while all the rest, including Blyfil, are only concerned about their share in the inheritance. A messenger arrives at the house and brings a message stating that Bridget Alverti, who had been away from the estate for several days, died suddenly. By the evening of the same day, the squire becomes easier and he is clearly recovering. Tom is so happy that even Bridget’s death cannot overshadow his joy. Wanting to celebrate the recovery of the named father, he gets drunk on drunk, which causes condemnation of others.

Squire Western wants to marry his daughter to Blyfil. This seems to him to be extremely profitable, since Blyfil is the heir to most of Alverty's fortune. Not even interested in the opinion of his daughter. Western is in a hurry to get consent for marriage from Alverti. A wedding day has already been set, but Sophia unexpectedly for her father announces to him that he will never become Blyfil's wife. An angry father locks her in the room, hoping that she will change her mind.

At this time, Blyfil, who secretly hated Tom since childhood, because he was afraid that most of the inheritance would go to a cub, an insidious plan matures. Thicken it, he tells the squire about Tom’s misbehavior on the very day that Alverty was close to death. Since all the servants were witnesses to the wild fun of tipsy Tom, Blyfil manages to convince the squire that Tom was happy about his imminent demise and that he would soon become the owner of a considerable fortune. Believing Blyfilu, an angry squire drives Tom out of the house.

Tom writes Sophia a farewell letter, realizing that, despite his passionate love for her, now that he is doomed to wandering and a beggarly life, he has no right to count on her location and ask for her hand. Tom leaves the estate, intending to go to the sailors. Sophia, desperate to beg her father not to marry her to the hated Blyfil, runs away from home.

In a provincial hotel, Tom accidentally meets Partridge, the same teacher that Alverty once sent from his village, considering him the father of a cub. Partridge convinces the young man that he suffered innocently, and asks for permission to accompany Tom on his wanderings.

On the way to the city of Upton, Tom rescues from the hands of the rapist a woman, a certain Mrs. Waters. At the city hotel, Mrs. Waters, who immediately liked the handsome Tom, easily seduces him.

At this time, Sophia, who was heading to London, hoping to find a shelter with an old friend of their family, also stopped at an Epton hotel and was happy to know that Tom was among the guests. However, upon hearing that he had cheated on her, an angry girl, as a sign that she knows everything about her lover's behavior, leaves her sleeve in his room and leaves Upton in tears. By a lucky coincidence, Sophia's cousin, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, was also staying at the same hotel, who had run away from her husband, a scoundrel and a lecher. She invites Sophia to hide together from her pursuers. In fact, immediately after the escape of the fugitives, the angry father of Sophia and Mr. Fitzpatrick arrive at the hotel.

In the morning, Tom realizes why Sophia did not want to see him, and in despair leaves the hotel, hoping to catch up with her beloved and receive her forgiveness.

Sophia finds Lady Bellaston in London. She welcomes the girl cordially and, having heard her sad story, promises her her help.

Tom and Partridge will also arrive in London soon. After a long search, Tom manages to attack the trail of her lover, but her cousin and Lady Bellaston prevent him from meeting with Sophia. Lady Bellaston has her own reasons for this: despite the fact that she is suitable for Tom's mother, she passionately falls in love with him and tries to seduce the young man. Tom guesses what the lady wants from him, but nevertheless he does not refuse to meet with her and even accepts money and gifts from her, because he has no choice: firstly, he hopes to find out where Sophia is, and secondly He has no livelihood. However, in a relationship with Lady Bellaston, Tom manages to keep his distance. Finally, Tom accidentally meets his beloved, but she, having listened to the assurances of eternal love and fidelity, rejects Tom, because she can not forgive him for treason. Tom is in despair.

In the house where Tom and Partridge are renting a room, Mr. Nightingale lives, with whom Tom immediately became friends. Nightingale and Nancy - the daughter of their mistress, Mrs. Miller, love each other. Tom learns from a friend that Nancy is pregnant from him. But Nightingale cannot marry her, for she is afraid of her father, who has found a rich bride for him and, wishing to take his dowry, insists on an immediate wedding. Nightingale obeys fate and secretly drives off from Mrs. Miller, leaving Nancy a letter explaining to her the reasons for her disappearance. Tom learns from Mrs. Miller that her Nancy, who passionately loves Nightingale, having received his farewell letter, was already trying to get her hands on herself. Tom goes to the father of his frivolous friend and announces to him that he is already married to Nancy. Nightingale Sr. resigned to the inevitability and Mrs. Miller and her daughter are hastily preparing for the wedding. From now on, Nancy and her mother consider Tom their savior.

Lady Bellaston, madly in love with Tom, constantly demands dates from him. Realizing how much he owes her. Tom is unable to refuse her. But her harassment soon became unbearable to him. Foundling offers his friend a clever plan: he must write her a letter with an offer of marriage. Since Lady Bellaston takes into account the opinion of the world and does not dare to marry a man who is half her age, she will be forced to refuse Tom, and he, taking advantage of this, will have the right to terminate all relations with her. The plan succeeds, but the angry lady decides to take revenge on Tom.

Sophia, who still lives in her house, is courted by wealthy Lord Fellamar. He makes her an offer, but receives a refusal. The cunning lady Bellaston explains to the lord that the girl is in love with a poor rogue; if the lord succeeds in ridding himself of his rival, Sophia’s heart will be free.

Tom visits Mrs. Fitzpatrick to talk to her about Sophia. Leaving her house, he encounters her husband. The furious jealous who finally attacked the trail of the fugitive and found out where she lives, takes the young man for her lover and insults him. Tom is forced to draw his sword and accept the challenge. When Fitzpatrick falls, pierced by Tom's sword, they are suddenly surrounded by a group of dozens of good fellows. They grab Tom, hand over the constable, and he goes to jail. It turns out that Fellamar sent several sailors and ordered them to recruit Tom on the ship, letting them know that he wants to get rid of him, and they, having caught Tom during the fight, when he wounded his opponent, they decided to just hand over Tom to the police.

Sophia's father, Mr. Western, is coming to London. He finds his daughter and announces to her that until Alverty and Blyfil arrive, the girl will be under house arrest and waiting for the wedding. Lady Bellaston, deciding to take revenge on Tom, shows Sophia his letter with an offer of marriage. Soon, the girl learns that Tom is accused of murder and is in prison. Alverty arrives with his nephew and stops at Mrs. Miller. Olverti is her long-time benefactor, he always helped the poor woman when her husband died and she was left without funds with two young children in her arms. Upon learning that Tom is the adopted son of a squire, Mrs. Miller tells him about the nobility of the young man. But Alverti still believes in slander, and the praises lavished on Tom do not touch him.


Nightingale, Mrs. Miller and Partridge often visit Tom in prison. Soon, the very Mrs. Waters came to him, a casual connection with which led to a disagreement with Sophia. After Tom left Elton, Mrs. Waters met Fitzpatrick there, became his mistress, and left with him. Learning from Fitzpatrick about his recent encounter with Tom, she hastened to visit the unfortunate prisoner. Tom is relieved to learn that Fitzpatrick is safe and sound. Partridge, who also came to visit Tom, tells him that the woman who calls herself Mrs. Waters is actually Jenny Jones, Tom's mother. Tom is horrified: he sinned with his own mother. Partridge, who never knew how to keep his mouth shut, tells Alverty about this, and he immediately calls Mrs. Waters to her. Presenting to his former master and learning from him, that Tom is the very baby she threw into the squire's house, Jenny finally decides to tell Alverti about everything she knows. It turns out that neither she nor Partridge are involved in the birth of a child. Tom's father is the son of a friend of Alverty, who once lived in a squire's house for a year and died of smallpox, and his mother is none other than the squire’s sister, Bridget. Fearing her brother’s conviction, Bridget hid from him that she had given birth to a child, and for a large fee she persuaded Jenny to throw the boy into their house. The old servant of Alverty, having heard that the squire knew the whole truth, confesses to the owner that Bridget on her deathbed revealed her secret and wrote a letter to his brother, which he handed to Mr. Blyfil, because Alverty was unconscious at that moment. Only now Alverti guesses about the treachery of Blyfil, who, wishing to seize the state of the squire, hid from him, that he and Tom are siblings. Soon, Alverty receives a letter from a former boy teacher, the philosopher Squire. In it, he informs the squire that he is lying near death and considers it his duty to tell him the whole truth. Squire, who never loved Tom, sincerely repents: he knew that Blyfil slandered Tom, but, instead of exposing Blyfil, he preferred to remain silent. Alverti finds out that one Tom was inconsolable when the squire was between life and death, and the reason for such immoderate joy of the young man was just the recovery of his named father. but instead of exposing Blyfil, he preferred to remain silent. Alverti finds out that one Tom was inconsolable when the squire was between life and death, and the reason for such immoderate joy of the young man was just the recovery of his named father. but instead of exposing Blyfil, he preferred to remain silent. Alverti finds out that one Tom was inconsolable when the squire was between life and death, and the reason for such immoderate joy of the young man was just the recovery of his named father.

Having learned the whole truth about his nephew, Alverti sincerely repents of everything that happened and curses the ungrateful Blyfil. Since Fitzpatrick has not charged Tom with any charges, he is being released from prison. Alverti apologizes to Tom, but the noble Tom does not blame the squire for anything.

Nightingale tells Sophia that Tom was not going to marry Lady Bellaston, because it was Nightingale who persuaded Tom to write her the letter she saw. Tom comes to Sophia and again asks for her hand. Squire Western, learning about Alverti's intention to make Tom his heir, gladly gives his consent to their marriage. After the wedding, lovers leave for the village and live happily away from the bustle of the city.