The History of Tom Jones A Foundling; Illustrated by Beall Smith; Random House publishers; Book is very nice condition with red boards, black end board with gilded lettering; slipcase has some fading (see image).
The novel's events occupy eighteen books. The book opens with the narrator stating that the purpose of the novel will be to explore "human nature." The kindly and wealthy Squire Allworthy and his sister Bridget are introduced in their wealthy estate in Somerset. Allworthy returns from London after an extended business trip and finds an abandoned baby sleeping in his bed. He summons his housekeeper, Mrs Deborah Wilkins, to take care of the child. After searching the nearby village, Mrs Wilkins is told about a young woman called Jenny Jones, servant of a schoolmaster and his wife, as the most likely person to have committed the deed. Jenny is brought before them and admits being the baby's mother but refuses to reveal the father's identity. Mr Allworthy mercifully removes Jenny to a place where her reputation will be unknown. Furthermore, he promises his sister to raise the boy, whom he names Thomas, in his household.