Short summary - The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and His Friend, Mr. Abraham Adams - Henry Fielding

British literature summaries -

Short summary - The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and His Friend, Mr. Abraham Adams
Henry Fielding

Starting the story of the adventures of his hero, the author discusses two types of depiction of reality. «Historians,» or «topographers,» are content to engage in «copying from nature.» The author considers himself to be a "biographer" and sees his task in describing "not people, but mores, not individuals, but kind"

Joseph Andrews at the age of ten parents give in service to Sir Thomas Bubi. Pastor Abraham Adams draws attention to the giftedness of the child and wants the boy to be placed in his care, because, in his opinion, Joseph, having received an education, will be able to occupy a higher position in life than a footman’s position. But Lady Buby does not want to part with the beautiful and courteous Joseph, whom she distinguishes from all the other servants. After moving to London, Lady Buby's husband dies, and she soon makes it clear to Joseph, who is twenty-one years old, that she is not indifferent to him. In a letter to his sister Pamela, a chaste young man tells her that his mistress is trying to seduce him. He fears that due to his intransigence, he will lose his place. Alas, his fears are confirmed: the forty-year-old housekeeper Lady Buby, the ugly and evil-tongued Mrs. Slipslop, who also vainly seeks the reciprocity of the young man, stipulates him before the lady, and Joseph receives the calculation.

Joseph leaves London and goes to Lady Bubie’s estate, where Pastor Adams’s beloved boyfriend Fanny lives in the parish of Adams. Robbers attack Joseph on the road. The unfortunate and wounded young man finds shelter in the inn, but only the maid Betty takes care of him, while the innkeeper, Tau-Wauz and his wife take Joseph for a tramp and barely tolerate his presence. Here the young man is met by Pastor Adams, who goes to London to publish nine volumes of his sermons there. The pastor is an honest, naive and good-natured person, he does not miss an opportunity to argue on philosophical and theological topics, but his passionate nature does not tolerate injustice and he is ready to defend her not only with a word, but with a strong fist. Under the influence of the pastor, even the grumpy Mrs. Tau-Wauz is imbued with sympathy for Joseph, and the maid Betty loses her head in passion and frankly seeks his love, but the young man is unshakable and does not give in to temptations.

Adams discovers that he has left all nine volumes of his sermons absentminded at home, and is going to accompany the young man to the estate, but unforeseen circumstances separate them for a while. A pastor comes to the aid of a girl who is trying to dishonor some scoundrel. Having dealt with the rapist, Adams, to his amazement, sees that the girl is his parishioner Fanny. She found out about the misfortune that befell her lover, and immediately went on a journey to care for Joseph. Meanwhile, an attacker who, through the efforts of the pastor, remained unconscious and looked like a lifeless corpse, comes to his senses and, having called for the help of local peasants who happened to be nearby, he insidiously accuses Adams and Fanny of robbing and beating him. They are brought to the judge, but he, without delving into the essence of the matter and believing the villain, provides his secretary to find out the degree of guilt of Adams and Fanny. The attacker gives evidence and hides, and the pastor and the girl are rescued by Squire Bubi, the nephew of Lady Bubi, who accidentally ends up in the judge’s house.

Adams and Fanny set off in search of Joseph and find him in a seedy hotel where the young man is waiting for a thunderstorm that caught him on the road. Lovers require the pastor to immediately unite them with a marriage, but Adams does not intend to deviate from the form prescribed by the church - a public announcement. The lovers obey and are about to leave the hotel when it turns out that they have nothing to pay the owner through the fault of Adams, a big lover of ale. They are suddenly helped by a poor peddler, and they finally hit the road.

Fleeing from a gang of sheep-houses, which three travelers who spend the night in the open air are mistaken for robbers, Joseph, Adams and Fanny find shelter in Mr. Wilson's house. He tells them the story of his life, full of ups and downs, and bitterly mentions that his eldest son was stolen by gypsies as a boy. But even after many years, Wilson could recognize a son who has a birthmark in the form of strawberries on his chest. Leaving Wilson's house, friends set off again.

The pastor almost becomes a victim of the hunting dogs of Squire John Temple, who hunted with friends and, for the sake of fun, put his dogs in the wake of the fat Adams who was fleeing them. Joseph, who owns a great club, helps a friend out, and Squire Temple, a rich, cruel and treacherous man, noticing the beauty of Fanny, intends to take over the girl and, apologizing to Adams for the rudeness of his rangers, invites travelers to his estate. Squire and his friends at first show a feigned friendliness, but then they begin to openly mock the good-natured pastor, and he, with Joseph and Fanny, indignantly leaves Temple's house. The infuriated Temple, who intended to take possession of Fanny by whatever means, sends them in pursuit of his servants under the command of the captain. The captain catches up with travelers at the hotel and, after a fierce battle, captures the girl and takes her with him. However, on the way to Temple’s estate, he meets a carriage in which Lady Buby’s butler, Peter Pence, accompanied by armed servants, rides. One of them recognizes the girl, and she begs to save her from the hands of the captain. By order of Peter Pence, who is heading to Lady Buby’s estate, the captain is escorted to a hotel where a fierce battle took place. The girl, so happily avoiding all the dangers, is again with her beloved, and soon the lovers, together with Adams and Pence, finally get to the estate. and she begs to save her from the hands of the captain. By order of Peter Pence, who is heading to Lady Buby’s estate, the captain is escorted to a hotel where a fierce battle took place. The girl, so happily avoiding all the dangers, is again with her beloved, and soon the lovers, together with Adams and Pence, finally get to the estate. and she begs to save her from the hands of the captain. By order of Peter Pence, who is heading to Lady Buby’s estate, the captain is escorted to a hotel where a fierce battle took place. The girl, so happily avoiding all the dangers, is again with her beloved, and soon the lovers, together with Adams and Pence, finally get to the estate.

Lady Buby arrives at her estate and learns that Joseph and Fanny are about to get married, and Pastor Adams has already publicly announced the announcement of their marriage. The lady, tormented by the pangs of jealousy and giving vent to her anger, calls on her lawyer Scout, who tells her how to get rid of Joseph and Fanny with the help of Judge Frolik. They are accused of theft, and a judge who does not dare to go against the will of Lady Bubi, sentenced them to imprisonment for one month. However, Judge Frolik, in whose callous heart there was a drop of pity for the young lovers, is going to arrange for them to escape on the way to prison.

At this time, her nephew with Joseph's sister Pamela, who recently became the squire's wife, arrived at Lady Bubi’s estate. Mr. Bubi learns of the misfortune that befell his brother's wife, and rescues the lovers from the revenge of his aunt. In a conversation with Lady Buby, he convinces her that from now on, without any damage to her honor, she can look at Joseph as a member of his family, since the sister of her former footman became the wife of her nephew. Lady Booby is extremely pleased with this turn of events and dreams of making Joseph her husband. To accomplish this, she convinces her nephew that Joseph deserves a better party than a simple peasant. Squire Buby, together with Pamela, are trying to dissuade Joseph from marriage with Fanny, but he does not intend to part with his lover in order to make a career.

Meanwhile, the same peddler comes to the estate, who recently rescued Adams and his young friends by paying the hotel owner for them. He tells the story of his long-dead mistress, who, before her death, admitted to him that she had once been involved in the theft of children with a gang of gypsies. Many years ago, she sold the deceased husband of Lady Buby, Sir Thomas, a three-year-old girl whom she stole from the Enryus family. Since then, this girl was brought up on the Bubi estate, and her name is Fanny. Everyone is shocked that Joseph and Fanny are brother and sister. Boy and girl in despair.


At this time, Joseph's parents and Sir Wilson, who promised the pastor to visit his parish, are coming to the estate. It soon turns out that Joseph is the son of Sir Wilson: gypsies stole the boy, and then, after arriving at the Andrews house, put him instead of Fanny in her mother's cradle, who raised him as her own child. Wilson has no doubt when he sees a birthmark in the form of strawberries on Joseph's chest.

Wilson agrees to Joseph's marriage to Fanny. Squire Buby shows generosity and gives the girl a dowry in the amount of two thousand pounds, and the young couple buy with this money a small estate in the same ward with Wilson. Squire Bubi offers Adams, who desperately needs money to feed his large family, a well-paid place, and he agrees. Through the efforts of a squire, the peddler obtains the place of an excise official and honestly performs his duties. Lady Booby is leaving for London, where she spends time with the young dragoon colonel, who helps her forget Joseph Andrews, whom she had such a strong passion for.