The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling (Andrew Millar, 1749)
Tom Jones is among the earliest English prose works that is describable as a novel. Totaling at 346,747 words, Tom Jones was divided into 18 smaller books. It was written by English playwright and novelist Henry Fielding and first published in February 1749 in London. It quickly became a best seller, selling four editions in its first year! Tom Jones is regarded as Fielding’s best work and a (still) very influential English novel.
A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighboring squire — though Jones sometimes succumbs to the charms of the local girls. When Jones is banished to make his own fortune in London and Western follows him to escape an arranged marriage, the adventure begins.