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MonkeyNotes-Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
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Mrs. Fitzpatrick

Her maiden name is Harriet and she is Sophia’s cousin. When they both were young, they shared a close intimacy and were fond of each other, but later they are separated by the various developments in their respective lives. Harriet has an affair with Lord Fitzpatrick, an Irish gentleman whom she later married. This same Lord Fitzpatrick had also flirted with Lady Western. So the elder lady is quite shocked to learn of her niece and her lover’s affair. When Harriet-Mrs. Fitzpatrick leaves with her husband, Lady Western cuts all ties with her. Harriet learns that Mr. Fitzpatrick married her solely for her money. He turns out to be a debauched man, who maintains a mistress, even while he is married to Harriet. Naturally, Harriet has lots of problems with her husband and she grows to hate him.

She regrets greatly the fact that she had succumbed to his charms and chivalric attention. Living with Mr. Fitzpatrick is a torture to her and she lives such for a few years in Ireland. She is lonely and makes some friends, including the gentleman who was their neighbor. There are suggestions that indicate that Lady Fitzpatrick might have had an affair with this gentleman. Lord Fitzpatrick leaves home for trips quite often. On returning from one such trip, he is unusually nice to Harriet. The motive behind this is that he needs her signature on some papers, so that he might sell some of her property. She refuses and he is harsh with her. He imprisons Harriet for a whole week. But after some time Harriet manages to escape to Dublin and then onwards to England. It is in England that she meets her cousin Sophia. They both are on the highway to London. Lady Fitzpatrick begs Sophia to ride alongside her. They are then strangers to each other. They realize suddenly who they are and meet with tears. They relate their respective histories to each other. Sophia conveniently censors her history for the sake of Mrs. Fitzpatrick’s consumption. She does not tell her cousin about Tom Jones. The two ladies travel together to London but are more than happy to bid farewell to each other in that city.


Sophia suspects that the Irish gentleman whom Harriet knew from Ireland was also her lover. Sophia feels uncomfortable at this thought and wishes to part ways with her cousin in England. Sophia even quotes Lady Western to Mrs. Fitzpatrick “that whenever the matrimonial alliance is broke, and war declared between husband and wife, she can hardly make a disadvantageous peace for herself on any conditions.” Mrs. Fitzpatrick answers Sophia with a contemptuous smile, insisting that she can take care of herself.

We learn that Mrs. Fitzpatrick is no less a worldly woman. She writes to her Aunt-Lady Western telling her where Sophia is. This is with just one objective that of winning Lady Western over and making up with her. But Lady Western never quite forgives Mrs. Fitzpatrick. When Mrs. Fitzpatrick call on Lad Western in London, she is coldly snubbed. This makes her revengeful and she tries convincing Tom that he can gain access to Sophia by making love to her elder Aunt-Lady Western. Mrs. Fitzpatrick meets Tom Jones at her house for this very purpose. At the end of their conversation, Mrs. Fitzpatrick flirts with Tom, with her eyes. She too is smitten by his beauty and his charms. But, Mrs. Fitzpatrick is never given a second chance with Tom. As he emerges from her house, he encounters her jealous husband and they have a deadly duel. Mr. Fitzpatrick suffers from a mortal wound and Tom is jailed. Luckily for Tom, Mr. Fitzpatrick does not die and Tom is acquitted.

At the end of the novel, we learn that Mrs. Fitzpatrick is separated from her husband and the retains the little remains of her fortune. She lives in reputation at the polite end of town and continues with the lady of the Irish peer. In acts of friendship to this lady Mrs. Fitzpatrick repays all the obligations she owes to this lady’s husband.

Mrs. Fitzpatrick serves as an antithetical character to her cousin and a major player-Sophia Western.

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