Detailed Summary of Joseph Andrews – Book I: Chapter 3

JOSEPH ANDREWS by Henry Fielding

JOSEPH ANDREWS by Henry Fielding

JOSEPH ANDREWS by Henry Fielding


Mr. Abraham Adams              – Curate

Joseph Andrews                      – Handsome 17 year old boy

Sir Thomas Booby                   – a rich estate owner

Lady Booby                              – Wife of Sir Thomas Booby

Mrs. Slipslop                            – Waiting gentle woman of Lady Booby

Book I: Chapter 3

Of Mr. Abraham Adams the curate, Mrs. Slipslop the chambermaid, and others

This chapter throws light on the nature of some of the characters – Mr. Abraham Adams, Joseph Andrews, Sir Thomas Booby , Lady Booby, and Mrs. Slipslop.

The very first line of chapter 3 states that the 50 year old curate is ‘an excellent scholar’, as he is well-versed in Greek, Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish.  Apart from scholarship, he is also a good natured person, and also very much innocent like a new-born baby.  Moreover, he never does any harm to anybody, and of the opinion that others are also like him.  His good nature and other qualifications are sufficient enough to make him even a bishop.  He earns 23 pounds a year, nevertheless he is unable to save big money as he has a wife and six children.  He has helping tendency to educate young Joseph Andrews who serves as footman in the house of Sir Thomas Booby.   One day while Mr. Abraham Adams was enquiring how Joseph Andrews got familiar with religious matters.  Joseph says his father nurtured him and later he started reading books available at Sir Thomas’ house.  Unable to mention the title of a book, Joseph mentions a book as ‘good book’, and from his description, Mr. Abraham Andrews understands the title of the book as Baker’s Chronicle. 

 Mr. Abraham Adams as he has difference of opinion with Sir Thomas Booby related to church money, he does not want to talk to him directly about Joseph Andrew’s education.  Moreover, he is a man who respects people by their dress and wealth.  And Sir Thomas’ wife, Lady Booby, is also like her husband.  She, being educated in town, considers all the people of the local village as brutes.  Hence Mr. Abraham Adams approaches Mrs. Slipslop, the waiting woman of Lady Booby. She is fond of using high sounding words in her language.  Mrs. Slipslop has respect for Mr. Abraham Adams, the curate.  Nevertheless, she hesitates to take up the matter to Lady Booby because she believes that her Lady will not approve the education of Joseph Andrews, and Mrs. Slipslop feels that she will be in trouble, if she takes up the matter of her servant’s education.  Joseph Andrews is thankful to Mr. Abraham Adams for his concern towards him.       


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1. Encumbered – adjective

Meaning: pulled down, burdened

Example –at the age of fifty he was provided with a handsome income of twenty-three pounds a year; which, however, he could not make any great figure with, because he lived in a dear country, and was a little encumbered with a wife and six children.

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2. Repine – verb

Meaning: complain about one’s dissatisfaction

Example – That, for his part, he was perfectly content with the state to which he was called; that he should endeavour to improve his talent, which was all required of him; but not repine at his own lot, nor envy those of his betters.

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3. Gaiety – noun

Meaning:  Merrymaking, pleasure

4. Appellation – noun

Meaning: title

Example – …and my lady was a woman of gaiety, who had been blest with a town   education, and never spoke of any of her country neighbours by any other appellation than that of the brutes. 


About diarysketches (25 Articles)
I Teach English Language and Literature in a college.

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