Front cover image for The journal of a voyage to Lisbon

The journal of a voyage to Lisbon

When Fielding was winched aboard the Queen of Portugal bound for Lisbon in June 1754 he had small hope of surviving even the milder Portuguese winter. The author of Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones was 'dying from a complication of disorders' and the gravity of his illness sparks the unflinching humour and pathos of the Journal. In it Fielding scrutinizes his body's decay and the corruption of English society, undercutting with irony his own high claims for his former conduct as a London magistrate. In it, too, he makes merry with xenophobia and the rapturous excesses of contemporary travel writing, while casting himself in the role of a post-heroic Odysseus or Aeneas, a role tinged with farce as he charts the tortuous voyage of the Queen of Portugal. Tom Keymer provides an illuminating introduction to this volume, which at last makes popularly available a scholarly edition of the Journal. Completed some weeks before Fielding's death on 8 October 1754, the work is at once comic, valedictory and intensely poignant, and it is indeed 'his art's great sunset'
Print Book, English, 1996
Penguin Books, London, England, 1996