Landed Patriarchy in Fielding's Novels Fictional Landscapes, Fictional Genders

Author: Gautier, Gary
Using Fielding's novels as a touchstone to larger cultural patterns, this study analyzes networks of class and gender ideologies that inform Fielding's five major works of fiction. This work will engage traditional Fielding scholars as well as feminist scholars, eighteenth-century scholars, and historians of the novel.


". . . one of the most important studies of Fielding to appear in some time. Gautier provides a new way to read Fielding, combining an acute sensitivity to the details of these rich texts with an ability to keep those details in the perspective of the many recent developments in gender theory and cultural criticism. . . . One of the cardinal virtues of this study is its breadth. . . . encompasses an impressive range of intellectual reference points, and Gautier is as comfortable with Kant and Wittgenstein as he is with Fielding and his contemporaries. . . . What we have here, in short, is a strong new voice, one that will invigorate discussions of Fielding for years, and which will become an indispensable reference point in any future investigations of the eighteenth-century novel and its relation to both gender and politics." - John Allen Stevenson

"Gautier offers a close reading of the novels and a fine introduction to the current debate about gender in the eighteenth century: he has a masterly command of the critical literature on the topic, and has some interesting things to contribute to the discussion of whether the eighteenth century was indeed 'feminized', and how and where it was feminized. . . . The reader will come away not just with new insights into Fielding but with an invigorated sense of the whole field of eighteenth-century concerns about the processes of cultural and economic modernization and their effects on human relations." - David Simpson “There are valuable insights here, and an almost encyclopedic coverage of Fielding’s politics and fielding criticism. . . . there is much to learn here. Gautier convincingly shows that Fielding’s allegiance was to the ‘landed order,’ and that his ’mid-Georgian conservativism’ was remarkably elastic. He is particularly adept at identifying examples of that elasticity and unraveling its implications.” – Studies in English Language . . this is a worthwhile contribution to studies on Fielding and studies more generally on politics, gender and the eighteenth-century novel. Gautier is equally unafraid to take on seemingly accepted positions and put forward his own idiosyncratic, but never outrageous, vision.” – Year’s Work in English Studies (Oxford)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
1. Fictional Landscapes and a Geology of Gender
2. Characterization, Traditional Romance, and a Latitudinarian Sentiment
Specific Gender Issues
3. Charity and Chastity
4. Men and Male Bonding
5. Women and Female Bonding
6. Marriage and Family
7. Rape and Incest
8. Amelia: A Shifting Gender Field
9. Gender and Genre in the Early English Novel
10. Epilogue: Rethinking the Feminization of Georgian Culture
Appendix I. Legislative Trinity Figures
Appendix II. Tony Richardson's Fielding Films
Notes, Bibliography, Index