|Born||8 November 1710|
|Died||9 April 1768 58) (aged|
Bath, Somerset, England
|Pen name||"the author of David Simple"|
|Genre||Sentimental literature, children's literature, biography, literary criticism|
|Relatives|| Henry Fielding |
Sarah Fielding (8 November 1710 – 9 April 1768) was an English author and sister of the novelist Henry Fielding. She wrote The Governess, or The Little Female Academy (1749), thought to be the first novel in English aimed expressly at children.  Earlier she had success with her novel The Adventures of David Simple (1744).  
Sarah Fielding was born at East Stour, Dorset in 1710 to Edmund Feilding [sic] and his wife Sarah, née Gould (died 1718),  after Henry and Ursula; her younger siblings were Anne, Beatrice, and Edmund. Sarah's father, Edmund, the third son of John Feilding, was a military officer and relative of the Earls of Denbigh (his father, John, had been the youngest son of the 3rd Earl). Although Edmund spelled his last name "Feilding" as often as "Fielding," both Henry and Sarah spelled the name "Fielding." When asked by an Earl of Denbigh why, Henry Fielding's son said, "I cannot tell, my Lord, except it be that my branch of the family were the first that knew how to spell".  Sarah Fielding's mother, Sarah Gould, was the daughter of Sir Henry Gould, a judge on the King's Bench who had been reappointed to the Queen's Bench. This descent is important for understanding the early life and education of Edmund Feilding's children.
Edmund left the care of his children to his wife's mother, Lady Sarah Gould, while he built his career in London. The children grew up in her home in Glastonbury and their paternal grandfather's house in East Stour (John Feilding being a latitudinarian Cambridge-educated parish priest with three livings, who had been considered for a bishopric in Ireland.  Henry was sent to Eton, but all of the daughters were sent to Mary Rookes's boarding school in Salisbury. This was "non-academic, but she was later extremely well read in Greek, Latin, French and English." 
When Edmund's first wife (Fielding's mother) died in 1718, Edmund married Anne Rapha, a Roman Catholic widow, who brought with her several children, and later bore Edmund a son and half-brother for Henry and Sarah, the future reformer John Fielding. Sir Henry and Lady Sarah Gould (Fielding's maternal grandparents) had fallen out with Edmund before the death of the children's mother. Lady Gould was highly displeased with Edmund's second marriage, and Anne Fielding (née Rapha) was the subject of much anti-Catholic sentiment from the elder generation of the family. Lady Gould was so set against Anne and her enlargement to the family that, in 1721, she sued for custody of the children and ownership of the family house in East Stour. She eventually won, leaving the children unable to see their father for some years.
In the 1740s, Fielding moved to London, sometimes living with her sisters and sometimes with her brother Henry and his family. The women of the family lacked sufficient money for a dowry, and consequently none married. Even when Lady Gould died in 1733, there was little money for the children.
Fielding turned to writing to make a living,  beginning while she lived with her brother and acted as his housekeeper. In 1742, Henry Fielding published Joseph Andrews , and Sarah Fielding is often credited with having written the letter from Leonora to Horatio (two of the characters in the book). In 1743, Henry Fielding published his Miscellanies (containing his life of Jonathan Wild), and his sister may have written its narrative of the life of Anne Boleyn.
In 1744, Fielding published a novel, The Adventures of David Simple in Search of a Faithful Friend. As was the habit, it was published anonymously, while pleading financial distress. The novel was quite successful and gathered praise from contemporaries,  including the publisher and novelist Samuel Richardson. As a "moral romance", it features two disinherited couples. Both heroines point to "the stifling of women's intellect and the barriers against a gentlewoman's earning her living." It was followed by the Familiar Letters (1747) of the two couples and by a Volume the Last added to a later edition (1753).  Richardson, who was himself the target of Henry Fielding's satire, said that he thought Sarah and Henry were possessed of equal gifts of writing. The Adventures of David Simple went into a second edition within ten weeks, and was translated into French and German. The title pages to Sarah Fielding's other novels often carried the advertisement that they were written by "the author of David Simple". The novel was sufficiently popular that Fielding wrote Familiar Letters between the Principal Characters in David Simple as an epistolary furtherance to the novel in 1747. In 1753, she wrote a sequel to The Adventures of David Simple entitled David Simple: Volume the Last.
David Simple was one of the earliest sentimental novels, featuring a wayfaring hero in search of true friendship who triumphs by good nature and moral strength. He finds happiness in marriage and a rural, bucolic life, away from the corruptions of the city. Simple is an analogue, in a sense, of the figure of Heartsfree, in Henry Fielding's Jonathan Wild and Squire Allworthy in his Tom Jones . However, he also shares features with other sentimental figures who find peace only with escape from corruption and the harmony of a new Utopia. In her Volume the Last, however, Fielding's fiction, like Henry Fielding's, is darker and shows less faith in the triumph of goodness in the face of a corrosive, immoral world.
Sarah Fielding wrote three other novels with original stories. The most significant of these was The Governess, or The Little Female Academy (1749), which is the first novel in English written especially for children.  In addition, she wrote The History of the Countess of Dellwyn (1759) and The History of Ophelia (1760).
As a critic, Sarah Fielding's Remarks on Clarissa (1749) concern the novel Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. As a biographer, she wrote The Lives of Cleopatra and Octavia (1757), a history, written from Greek and Roman sources, on the lives of Cleopatra and Octavia, two famous women of Roman times. As a translator she produced Xenophon's Memoirs of Socrates, with the Defense of Socrates Before His Judges (1762), a work by the Ancient Greek writer and soldier Xenophon concerning the philosopher.
Fielding's sisters died between 1750 and 1751 and Henry in 1754. Fielding retired from London and moved to a small house just outside Bath. The famous philanthropist Ralph Allen and the similarly famous Elizabeth Montagu (a member of the Blue Stockings Society) gave her some financial aid. In about 1767, the novelist Sarah Scott, sister of Elizabeth Montagu, invited Fielding to come and live with her in a female utopian community, as an attempt to create the utopia described in Millenium Hall , but Fielding declined. She died in 1768. There is a memorial plaque to her on the west porch of Bath Abbey.
Henry Fielding was an English novelist, irony writer and dramatist known for earthy humour and satire. His comic novel Tom Jones is still widely appreciated. He and Samuel Richardson are seen as founders of the traditional English novel. He also holds a place in the history of law enforcement, having used his authority as a magistrate to found the Bow Street Runners, London's first intermittently funded, full-time police force.
Lady Margaret Beaufort was a major figure in the Wars of the Roses of the late fifteenth century, and mother of King Henry VII of England, the first Tudor monarch.
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, often known simply as Tom Jones, is a comic novel by English playwright and novelist Henry Fielding. It is a Bildungsroman and a picaresque novel. It was first published on 28 February 1749 in London and is among the earliest English works to be classified as a novel. It is the earliest novel mentioned by W. Somerset Maugham in his 1948 book Great Novelists and Their Novels among the ten best novels of the world.
John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu,, styled Viscount Monthermer until 1705 and Marquess of Monthermer between 1705 and 1709, was a British peer.
Iullus Antonius was a Roman magnate and poet. A son of Mark Antony and Fulvia, he was spared by the emperor Augustus after the civil wars of the Republic, and was married to the emperor's niece. He was later condemned as one of the lovers of Augustus's daughter, Julia, and committed suicide.
Admiral William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh was an English naval officer and courtier.
Cleopatra Selene II was a Ptolemaic princess and Queen of Numidia and Mauretania. She was an important royal woman in the early Augustan age.
The History of Sir Charles Grandison, commonly called Sir Charles Grandison, is an epistolary novel by English writer Samuel Richardson first published in February 1753. The book was a response to Henry Fielding's The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, which parodied the morals presented in Richardson's previous novels. The novel follows the story of Harriet Byron who is pursued by Sir Hargrave Pollexfen. After she rejects Pollexfen, he kidnaps her, and she is only freed when Sir Charles Grandison comes to her rescue. After his appearance, the novel focuses on his history and life, and he becomes its central figure.
Anne Seymour Damer, née Conway, was an English sculptor. Once described as a 'female genius' by Horace Walpole, she was trained in sculpture by Giuseppe Ceracchi and John Bacon. Influenced by the Enlightenment movement, Anne was an author, traveller, theatrical producer and actress, as well as an acclaimed sculptress.
Sarah Scott was an English novelist, translator, social reformer, and member of the Bluestockings. Her most famous work was her utopian novel A Description of Millenium Hall and the Country Adjacent, followed closely by the sequel The History of Sir George Ellison.
Octavia the Younger was the elder sister of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus, the half-sister of Octavia the Elder, and the fourth wife of Mark Antony. She was also the great-grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, maternal grandmother of the Emperor Claudius, and paternal great-grandmother and maternal great-great-grandmother of the Emperor Nero.
Amelia is a sentimental novel written by Henry Fielding and published in December 1751. It was the fourth and final novel written by Fielding, and it was printed in only one edition while the author was alive, although 5,000 copies were published of the first edition. Amelia follows the life of Amelia and Captain William Booth after they are married. It contains many allusions to classical literature and focuses on the theme of marriage and feminine intelligence, but Fielding's stance on gender issues cannot be determined because of the lack of authorial commentary discussing the matter. Although the novel received praise from many writers and critics, it received more criticism from Fielding's competition, possibly resulting from the "paper war" in which the author was involved.
Elizabeth Singer Rowe was an English poet, essayist and fiction writer called "the ornament of her sex and age" and the "Heavenly Singer". She was among 18th-century England's most widely read authors. She wrote mainly religious poetry, but her best-known work, Friendship in Death (1728), is a series of imaginary letters from the dead to the living. Despite a posthumous reputation as a pious, bereaved recluse, Rowe corresponded widely and was involved in local concerns at Frome in her native Somerset. She remained popular into the 19th century on both sides of the Atlantic and in translation. Though little read today, scholars have called her stylistically and thematically radical for her time.
Jane Collier was an English novelist best known for her book An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting (1753). She also collaborated with Sarah Fielding on her only other surviving work The Cry (1754).
An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting was a conduct book written by Jane Collier and published in 1753. The Essay was Collier's first work, and operates as a satirical advice book on how to nag. It was modelled after Jonathan Swift's satirical essays, and is intended to "teach" a reader the various methods for "teasing and mortifying" one's acquaintances. It is divided into two sections that are organised for "advice" to specific groups, and it is followed by "General Rules" for all people to follow.
Jane Collier's and Sarah Fielding's The Cry: A New Dramatic Fable (1754) was Fielding's sixth and Collier's second and final work. The work is an allegorical and satirical novel. Collier and Fielding had worked together previously when Fielding wrote The Governess and when Collier wrote An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting, but The Cry is the only work that can be positively ascribed to the two together. Collier died the year after its publication.
Love in Several Masques is a play by Henry Fielding that was first performed on 16 February 1728 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The moderately received play comically depicts three lovers trying to pursue their individual beloveds. The beloveds require their lovers to meet their various demands, which serves as a means for Fielding to introduce his personal feelings on morality and virtue. In addition, Fielding introduces criticism of women and society in general.
The Covent-Garden Journal was an English literary periodical published twice a week for most of 1752. It was edited and almost entirely funded by novelist, playwright, and essayist Henry Fielding, under the pseudonym, "Sir Alexander Drawcansir, Knt. Censor of Great Britain". It was Fielding's fourth and final periodical, and one of his last written works.
Elizabeth Mortimer, Lady Percy and Baroness Camoys, was a medieval English noblewoman, the granddaughter of Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, and great-granddaughter of King Edward III. Her first husband was Sir Henry Percy, known to history as 'Hotspur'. She married secondly Thomas Camoys, 1st Baron Camoys. She is represented as 'Kate, Lady Percy,' in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1, and briefly again as 'Widow Percy' in Henry IV, Part 2.
Sarah West (1790–1876) was a British actress.
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