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About the Author: Tobias Smollett

Tobias George Smollett was born in Dalquhurn, now part of Renton, Scotland, to a prosperous family and educated at the University of Glasgow, where he studied to be a physician. Later he joined the British Royal Navy as a surgeon's mate. He was present at the disastrous battle of Cartagena, in 1741, against the Spanish. He married a British woman Anne Lascelles, in Jamaica, 1747,and returned to England. In London, as a writer, he became successful. ''The Adventures of Roderick Random'' (1748), a picaresque novel -like most of his books- made him a well known author. It was followed by ''The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle'' in 1751. But the failure of ''The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom'' (1753) caused financial difficulties for him. Publishing ''The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves'' (1762) didn't help. Writing poems, plays, travel and history books, essays, satires, doing translations and even becoming a literary critic and magazine editor, Dr. Smollett struggled all his short life against poverty, he traveled to Italy, to regain his health, but died of tuberculosis near Livorno, in 1771. Ironically finishing his masterpiece, ''The Expedition of Humphry Clinker'', a few months before his demise. An obscure author today, though Charles Dickens was a great admirer of Tobias Smollett, and even visiting his gravesite. Renton takes its name after Smollett's sister Jane's, daughter-in-law, Cecilia Renton, after whom the modern sandstone 'model' village was named in 1762. Dr.Smollett's unmarried daughter and only child Elizabeth , died at 15, April, 1763.


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Goodreads rating: 3.37

Hardcover, Published in Aug 1988 by University of Georgia Press

ISBN10: 0820310107 | ISBN13: 9780820310107

Page count: 528

The first novel by a major English writer that is devoted to a thoroughgoing portrait of villainy, The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom chronicles the life of an aberrant criminal character. Filled with striking satiric thrusts at the legal, medical, and military establishments of mid-eighteenth-century Europe and England, the novel reveals Tobias Smollett's capacities as a commentator on contemporary life.First published in 1753, Ferdinand Count Fathom is an experimental work that explores the relations between history and fiction and introduces, for the first time in the English novel, episodes of Gothic melodrama. Too long neglected and never before available in a carefully prepared scholarly edition, Ferdinand Count Fathom may now be read, understood, and appreciated against the literary and historical background of the eighteenth-century world.

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