'he carried Good-nature to that wonderful and uncommon Height, that he never did a single Injury to Man or Woman, by which he himself did t expect to reap some Advantage' The real-life Jonathan Wild, gangland godfather and self-styled 'Thieftaker General', controlled much of the London underworld until he was executed for his crimes in 1725. Even during his lifetime his achievements attracted attention; after his death balladeers sang of his exploits, and satirists made connections between his success and the triumph of corruption in high places. Henry Fielding built on these narratives to produce one of the greatest sustained satires in the English language. Published in 1743, at a time when the modern vel had yet to establish itself as a fixed literary form, Jonathan Wild is at the same time a brilliant black comedy, an incisive political satire, and a profoundly serious exploration of human 'greatness' and 'goodness'. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful tes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Claude Rawson is the author of many books, including Henry Fielding and the Augustan Ideal under Stress (1972), and most recently God, Gulliver, and Genocide: Barbarism and the European Imagination, 1492-1945 (OUP, 2001). Linda Bree is the author of Sarah Fielding (1996), and the editor of Sarah Fielding's The Adventures of David Simple (Penguin, 2002).