Henry Fielding
Public DomainHenry Fielding

Henry Fielding (1707-1754) was an English novelist and playwright.

Whereas his contemporaries Samuel Richardson and Daniel Defoe dressed up their novels as “letters” or “memoirs,” Fielding was the first major English writer to proclaim openly that his books were fictions. They are known for their satire and earthy humor; his most famous novel is Tom Jones.

In his professional roles as barrister and then magistrate, Fielding is also credited with helping to establish London’s first police force, the Bow Street Runners.