Tobias Smollett

Tobias Smollett

Jeremy Lewis
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Author:  Jeremy Lewis
Condition:  New
Format:  Paperback
Pages:  336
Publisher:  Vintage Publishing
Year:  2004
ISBN:  9780712667784

Tobias Smollett's novels are funny, fast-moving, boisterous and coarse, the fictional equivalent of Hogarth's 'Rake's Progress' or a Rowlandson engraving. Indeed without doubt, Smollett is the most vigorous and entertaining of all the great eighteenth-century novelists. Despite enthusiastic advocacy from George Orwell and V.S. Pritchett, he is also the most neglected. In this new biography, the first for over fifty years, Jeremy Lewis sets out to put the record straight. A Scot who lived for much of his life in Chelsea, a medical man who, like Dr Johnson, became a central figure in London literary life, Smollett was barely fifty when he died, but had lived an enviably busy life. As a ship's surgeon, he took part in the disastrous siege of Cartagena, where the sailors dropped like flies from the fever and had to be fed to the sharks; as a Scotsman, he suffered prejudice of a kind that would later be endured by the Irish and West Indians; he was imprisoned for libel, founded and edited the contemporary equivalent of the TLS, did battle with John Wilkes, wore himself out with hack work, and made his name not just with Roderick Random and Humphry Clinker, but with his magnificently spl