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eBook Roderick Random (1742) ePub

eBook Roderick Random (1742) ePub

by Tobias George Smollett

  • ISBN: 1406790117
  • Category: Classics
  • Subcategory: Literature
  • Author: Tobias George Smollett
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Pomona Press (January 1, 2007)
  • Pages: 448
  • ePub book: 1249 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1727 kb
  • Other: mbr mobi lrf azw
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 281


Tobias George Smollett (19 March 1721 (baptised) – 17 September 1771) was a Scottish poet and author

Tobias George Smollett (19 March 1721 (baptised) – 17 September 1771) was a Scottish poet and author.

Roderick Random is a rollicking tale of a bounder who believe he should be owed the estate of a gentleman. Smollett was a veteran of the War of Jenkin's Ear and involved in one of the largest naval invasions in history, the attack on Cartagena, Colombia

Roderick Random is a rollicking tale of a bounder who believe he should be owed the estate of a gentleman. A vain glorious young man who is hoodwinked at very turn. stupefied as I was I curse my simplicity. Smollett was a veteran of the War of Jenkin's Ear and involved in one of the largest naval invasions in history, the attack on Cartagena, Colombia. He places Roderick in that invasion and thus gives a description of it from his personal experience.

The Adventures of Roderick Random is a picaresque novel by Tobias Smollett, first published in 1748. It is partially based on Smollett's experience as a naval-surgeon’s mate in the Royal Navy, especially during the Battle of Cartagena de Indias in 1741. In the preface, Smollett acknowledges the connections of his novel to the two satirical picaresque works he translated into English: Cervantes’ Don Quixote (1605–15) and Alain-René Lesage’s Gil Blas (1715–47).

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Tobias George Smollett facts: Of the major 18th-century novelists and satirists, the British .

Tobias George Smollett facts: Of the major 18th-century novelists and satirists, the British author and physician Tobias George Smollett (1721-1771) is most clearly identified with the picaresque tradition of novel writing  . The variety and extent of Tobias Smollett's interests, his phlegmatic Scottish nature, the grossness and bite of his satires, and the keenness of his caricatures distinguish the man and his works. The Adventures of Roderick Random, published in "two neat Pocket-Volumes" in 1748, made Smollett a controversial literary celebrity.

Roderick Random' was Smollett's first novel, and it is his best

Roderick Random' was Smollett's first novel, and it is his best. The book ends happily, with Random discovering (view spoiler). Smollett made his name with Roderick Random and then went on to perfect his style with Peregrine in much the same way that Bellow did, not that I find Smollett anywhere near as engaging as Bellow. If you've ever read any picaresque novels, you've read Roderick Random.

Roderick Random was published in 1748 to immediate acclaim, and established Smollett among the most popular of eighteenth-century novelists. Narrated by an unheroic, apparently rudderless hero named Random, Smollett's wildly energetic and entertaining novel is held together not least by the narrator's outrage and dismay. Although Roderick Random was first published anonymously, the secret of Smollett's authorship was soon discovered, with the result that many readers thought they recognized similarities between the life of the hero and that of his creator.

Roderick Random (1748), Smollett's first novel, is full of the dazzling vitality characteristics of all his work, as well as of his own life. Together they undergo many adventures at the hands of scoundrels and rogues. Показать все. О товаре. Доставка, возврат и платежи. Наиболее популярные в Художественная литература.

These notes deal more fully than has been done before with real people and places, contemporary events, and fashions and throw considerable light on the social background of the.

Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Pomona Press are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.


Tat Tat
I never liked Georgian literature. Sir Walter Scott was as early as I was willing to go, and even then you have to squint as you read him, to ignore the stilted prose and maudlin love stories. Tristram Shandy, Tom Jones and Robinson Crusoe -- they all seem to get more wooden and unreal the further back you go.

But Roderick Random is proof that the people living 250 years ago were human. Smollett is often compared to Charles Dickens, a hundred years later, and there are similarities: Roderick wanders around the world like Nicholas Nickleby, getting into one mess after another, rich and poor, lucky and unlucky. Dickens was a better writer, and his humor is much more tasteful. (I counted three separate instances in R.R. where somebody gets a chamberpot dumped on his head.) But Dickens has a weirdly intrusive moral sense, with black villains and shining heroes. Nobody could possibly be as evil as Wackford Squeers, or as good as Nicholas. Why would you want to read about paragons?

By contrast, Roderick is just an ordinary guy, at least by 1740's standards. He's not much better than his antagonists, and there's no particular reason he should triumph over them. Sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn't, but it's not important. There's romance and violence and drinking and gambling, but they're all incidental. Roderick may get beaten up or robbed, but in the next chapter life goes on. In that way, Roderick Random is less like Dickens or Thackeray, and more like a modern sitcom. What hijinks will Roderick get up to next week? Tune in to find out.

The most appealing element of Roderick Random is the 18th century itself, and what the simple fact of having a sympathetic, comprehensible hero can tell us about it. Roderick joins the navy and the army, he works as an apothecary and a slave trader, he's a fortune hunter and a professional gambler, he talks to prostitutes and failed playwrights. If Smollett's description of this stuff is varnished, it's impossible to tell.

The chapters with Roderick as a naval surgeon are particularly good -- that was Smollett's own profession for a while. This was one of the first novels ever set aboard ship, and Smollett realizes that most people don't know much about the life of a sailor. And since he can't assume his readers know anything, he takes care to describe all the loathsome details of naval life during the War of Jenkins' Ear, in a way that seems extremely fresh, even now.

Of course it all comes to an end. The back cover of the novel tells us that Roderick "recovers his long-lost father, marries his beloved Narcissa, and dispatches his enemies." The mere fact that Penguin so carelessly spoils the ending suggests how adventitious it is. These are just things that happen, and except inasmuch as they constitute an "ending", they don't matter much more than anything else that befalls Roderick in the 18th century. Every sitcom gets cancelled sooner or later.
Ranterl Ranterl
Curiously, Tobias Smollett published "The Adventures of Roderick Random" just a year before Henry Fielding published "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling", so it is fair to wonder whom stole the plot devices from whom: an unwanted child, a heroine apparently beyond the reach of the hero, picaresque journeys in which both heroes redeem themselves despite many lapses for which they never feel culpable.

Unlike Tom Jones who is left very much to his own devices, Roderick Random does have loyal helpers, like his school friend, Hugh Strap, and his uncle, Lieutenant Tom Bowling of the Royal Navy. It becomes increasingly irksome each time Random excels, only to be exploited or denied the fruits of his labour. He is the most gifted of all the classical scholars in his village school, as well as the most deprived and the most abused. He qualifies as a doctor purely through his own abilities and application, but he is unable to get a certificate to be a surgeon in the navy because of corruption and the shortsightedness of the examining board. He gains employment as a pharmacist with an incompetent, grasping, alcoholic apothecary; but he is dismissed despite his prodigious aptitude for chemistry and filling prescriptions because of the machinations of the lustful wife and daughter of the apothecary. Ironically, he is impressed into the navy, not as a surgeon but as an ordinary seaman. But the irony does not end here-for his medical aptitude is soon recognised by the ship's surgeon, one of the few positive characters in the book. Of course, such a character is shipped off almost as soon as he approves Random's surgeon's mate certificate, and he suffers at the hands of a mean-spirited, envious surgeon, and an equally unpleasant captain who is replaced by a foolish fop with unnatural inclinations.

Eventually, Random escapes the ship when it is wrecked. Among the crew he is the only one to survive because of his innately noble character, his courage and resourcefulness. He finds refuge as a footman in a house of blue-stocking women who are shamed by his learning when they come to know Random. Yet the younger of them, the too aptly named Narcissa, eventually makes Random happy, but not until after he finds his father, who, as it happens, has take up residence in South America and become terribly wealthy.

All in all, the book is a long joke that would have been happily ended several hundred pages earlier. The protagonist's apparently inability to be self-critical, to always present himself in the light of an heroic victim, comes to grate quite soon. One could argue that Smollett's belief that his reader's attention has been "agreeably diverted with all the variety of invention; and the vicissitudes of life" of his flawed hero. Smollett can be thanked for devising a hero of humble origins as the mainstay of his novel. Unfortunately, the cycles within his novel are all too similar to engage the reader fully through the entire work.
catterpillar catterpillar
I picked up this book in relation to research I was doing for a class and although I don't usually care for fiction I was completely sucked in and devoured it whole in no time. It's a literary delicatessen full of slices of life from the period.

What makes this book so interesting is Roderick's naivety as a young Scottish man in his early 20s trying to make his way with little or no help in a hostile and socially brutal London, which makes it easy to identify with him these centuries later. And Random as a character can be just as hostile and brutal himself, as he admits. The book is full of real people and adult situations, including Random's own period of recuperation from an unnamed venereal disease, sharing a garrett with a woman with the same problem.

Another fascinating and appalling aspect is Random's involvement in transporting captured slaves for sale in Jamaica, whom he and everyone else regards with no more respect than a cargo of chickens or goats.

I have very little respect for "historical novels" written today that pretend to recreate the past. This book, on the other hand, is the real thing.