By Hubert McDermott
Contents: advent; 1 historical Narrative Modes: TheàR "Odyssey", The Greek Romances, The Latin Romances; 2 Medieval Romance: three Pre-Eighteenth-Century Romance, Elizabethan Romance, French Romance of the 16th and 17th Centuries, Heroic Romance in England, Passionate Romance, non secular Romance; four Richardson and Romance:àR "Pamela" as Romance, "Clarissa" as Romance, "Clarissa" as spiritual Romance; five Henry Fielding's comedian Romances: Richardson and Fielding: Romance and Anti-Romance?, Fielding's idea of Fiction,àR "Joseph Andrews" and "Tom Jones" as comedian Romances, "Joseph Andrews" and "Tom Jones" as traditional Romances, "Tom Jones" as Passionate Romance; Appendix I; Appendix II; Notes and References; decide upon Bibliography; IndexàR
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Additional info for Novel and Romance: The Odyssey to Tom Jones
It consists of only three fragments, which in themselves are severely mutilated. Ninus and Semiramis were well known in the ancient world as the heroes of an Assyrian national saga, and it is apparently on this saga that the romance is based. The author simply chose two famous personages from past history and wrote about their lives as adolescents, first as lovers, then as man and wife. The story is not a total fabrication, since the author is shrewd enough to refer to the well-known campaigns of Ninus at various points, even in the extant fragments.
It is certainly not beyond the bounds of possibility that the romancer and the bishop were the same man: after all, celibacy is a major feature of the Aethiopica, too, and the ailing of Eros has been noted in conjunction with this celibacy. Apart from all this, however, there is something peculiarly 46 Novel and Romance: the Odyssey to Tom Jones Christian about the Aethiopica. Take the role assigned to Apollo, for example. He is no Pallas Athene, appearing whenever the 'going gets rough', but is unseen, and makes himself and his designs known through omens, oracles, visions and dreams.
64 We read, also, a lengthy invective against women, 65 by a homosexual, and are treated, later, to a comparison of boys to women as sexual partners. 66 And these are just a few of well over one hundred digressions, which cause the present-day reader such frustration. Nor is the ineptitude confined to digressions: within the actual story there is ample evidence also- soliloquies which are intended as expressions of intense feelings, and end in bathos; and verbiage which all but smothers the story.