Henry Fielding (1707-1754) was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the novel Tom Jones. He was born in Sharpham near Glastonbury in Somerset in 1707, and was educated at Eton College. Later he went to London where his literary career began. In 1728, he travelled to Leiden to study. On his return, he began writing for the theatre, some of his work being savagely critical of the contemporary government under Sir Robert Walpole. He therefore retired from the theatre and resumed his career in law, becoming a Justice of the Peace in 1748 for Middlesex and Westminster. He never stopped writing political satire and satires of current arts and letters. Amongst his works are Rape upon Rape (1730), Shamela (1741), The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling (1749) and Amelia (1751).