Sarah Fielding entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Sarah Fielding, best known as a mid-eighteenth-century novelist, tried a range of other genres as well: history, criticism, a play, a translation, and a landmark children's book which is both a work of pedagogy and commonly billed as the first school story for girls. Her reputation is gradually emerging from the shadow of her brother Henry's and enabling recognition of her status as a woman of letters, and her pivotal position in the history of the novel.
8 November 1710 SF was born at East Stour in Dorset. Bibliographic Citation link.
22 February 1742 Henry Fielding's novel Joseph Andrews was published: its inset tale of Leonora and Horatio was probably written by SF. Bibliographic Citation link.
1 May 1744 SF published her first, anonymous novel, The Adventures of David Simple, In Search of a Real Friend, in three volumes. Bibliographic Citation link.
13 July 1744 A second edition of SF's David Simple replaced the first, with revisions and an enthusiastic preface by her brother Henry. Bibliographic Citation link.
2 January 1749 SF published The Governess; or, The Little Female Academy, sometimes cited as the earliest full-length book written for children. Bibliographic Citation link.
27 January 1762 SF published by subscription her last book, a translation of Xenophon's Memoirs of Socrates, With the Defence of Socrates. Bibliographic Citation link.
9 April 1768 SF died near Bath, aged only fifty-seven. Bibliographic Citation link.
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