Thanks to a political appointment, he became Chief Magistrate for London.

The Walpole administration initiated the infamous Theatrical Licensing Act of 1737, probably in response to (primarily) Henry Fielding’s plays.

Also John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera is often mentioned in this context.

Both were written in the epistolary form, but Shamela was of course harshly satirical in nature.

The novel was then followed by Joseph Andrews (1742) and several other novels.

In particular the contemporary government of Sir Robert Walpole was the aim of a great deal of Fielding’s satire. That year, he had four plays produced, among which we find The Author’s Farce, a farce “with a puppet-show, call’d the Pleasures of the Town.” Arguably, this play was Fielding’s first great success in the London theatres.

That same year, another now famous work was staged: Tom Thumb.

Though not an aristocrat himself, he was related to the Earl of Denbigh, and his mother belonged to a powerful family of lawyers.

Fielding’s father sent him off to the prestigious Eton College, where he learned to appreciate the classics.

Fielding’s number-one success was The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749), a foundling’s tale discovered on the property of a very wealthy, benevolent landowner.

Not only was Fielding a successful author and playwright, he also had a notable career in law and order.

In 1728, he went to Leiden, in the Netherlands, to study law and the classics.