Joseph AndrewsA handsome and virtuous young footman whom Lady Booby attempts to corrupt. He is a protégé of Mr. Adams and the devoted but chaste lover of Fanny Goodwill. His adventures in journeying from the Booby household in London back to the countryside, where he plans to marry Fanny, provide the main plot of the novel.
Mr. Abraham AdamsA benevolent, absent-minded, impecunious, and somewhat vain curate in Lady Booby’s country parish. He notices and cultivates Joseph’s intelligence and moral earnestness from early on, and he supports Joseph’s determination to marry Fanny. His journey back to the countryside coincides with Joseph’s for much of the way, and the vibrancy of his simple good nature makes him a rival of Joseph for the title of protagonist.
Fanny GoodwillThe beautiful but reserved beloved of Joseph, a milkmaid, believed to be an orphan. She endures many unsuccessful sexual assaults.
Sir Thomas BoobyThe recently deceased master of Joseph and patron of Mr. Adams. Other characters’ reminiscences portray him as decent but not heroically virtuous; he once promised Mr. Adams a clerical living in return for Adams’s help in electing Sir Thomas to parliament, but he then allowed his wife to talk him out of it.
Lady BoobySir Thomas’s widow, whose grieving process involves playing cards and propositioning servants. She is powerfully attracted to Joseph, her footman, but finds this attraction degrading and is humiliated by his rejections. She exemplifies the traditional flaws of the upper class, namely snobbery, egotism, and lack of restraint, and she is prone to drastic mood swings.
Mrs. SlipslopA hideous and sexually voracious upper servant in the Booby household. Like her mistress, she lusts after Joseph.
Peter PounceLady Booby’s miserly steward, who lends money to other servants at steep interest and gives himself airs as a member of the upwardly striving new capitalist class.
Mr. BoobyThe nephew of Sir Thomas. Fielding has adapted this character from the “Mr. B.” of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; like Richardson’s character, Mr. Booby is a rather snobbish squire who marries his servant girl, Pamela Andrews.
Pamela AndrewsJoseph’s virtuous and beautiful sister, from whom he derives inspiration for his resistance to Lady Booby’s sexual advances. Pamela, too, is a servant in the household of a predatory Booby, though she eventually marries her lascivious master. Fielding has adapted this character from the heroine of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela.
Mr. AndrewsThe father of Pamela and, ostensibly, Joseph.
Mrs. AndrewsThe mother of Pamela and, ostensibly, Joseph.
Two RuffiansHighwaymen who beat, rob, and strip Joseph on the first night of his journey.
PostilionLends Joseph his greatcoat when Joseph is naked following the attack by the Ruffians.
Mr. Tow-wouseThe master of the inn where Joseph boards after being attacked by the Ruffians. He intends to lend Joseph one of his own shirts, but his stingy wife prevents him. Later he is discovered in bed with Betty the chambermaid.
Mrs. Tow-wouseThe frugal, nagging wife of Mr. Tow-wouse.
BettyA chambermaid in the inn of Mr. and Mrs. Tow-wouse. Her initial care of Joseph bespeaks her basic good nature, but she is also lustful, and her association with him ends badly.
Mr. BarnabasA clergyman who never passes up a drink and halfheartedly attends Joseph during his recovery from the attack by the Ruffians.
SurgeonBelatedly addresses the injuries Joseph sustained during his attack by the Ruffians.
BooksellerA friend of Mr. Barnabas, declines to represent Mr. Adams, author of several volumes of sermons, in the London book trade.
Tom SuckbribeThe Constable who fails to guard an imprisoned Ruffian and may have some financial incentive for failing in this office.
LeonoraThe reclusive inhabitant of a grand house along the stage-coach route, a shallow woman who once jilted the hard-working Horatio for the frivolous Bellarmine and then was jilted in turn.
HoratioAn industrious lawyer who intended to marry Leonora but lost her to the wealthy and flamboyant Bellarmine.
BellarmineA Frenchified cavalier who values Leonora’s beauty enough to steal her away from Horatio but who finally rejects her when her father refuses to supply a dowry.
Leonora's FatherA miserly old gentleman who refuses to bestow any money on his daughter during his life and thereby causes her to lose Bellarmine as a suitor.
Leonora's AuntLeonora’s chaperone during the period of her courtship by Horatio and then Bellarmine; encourages Leonora to pursue her financial self-interest in choosing a mate.
Mrs. Grave-airsA snobbish stage-coach passenger who objects to traveling with the footman Joseph but turns out to be the daughter of a man who was once a lower servant.
SportsmanEncounters Mr. Adams while out shooting one night; extolls bravery when conversing with Adams but flees the scene when the cries of a distressed woman are heard.
The JusticeA local magistrate who does not take his responsibilities very seriously. He handles the case of Mr. Adams and Fanny when Fanny’s attacker accuses them of having beaten and robbed him.
Mr. WilsonA gentleman who, after a turbulent youth, has retired to the country with his wife and children and lives a life of virtue and simplicity. His eldest son, who turns out to have been Joseph, was stolen by gypsies as a child.
Mrs. WilsonThe wife of Wilson. She once redeemed him from debtor’s prison, having been the object of his undeclared love for some time.
PedlarAn apparent instrument of providence who pays one of Mr. Adams’s many inn bills, rescues Mr. Adams’s drowning son, and figures out the respective parentages of both Joseph and Fanny.
Mrs. AdamsThe wife of Mr. Adams and mother of his six children, prone to nagging but also appreciative of her husband’s loving nature.
Parson TrulliberAn entrepreneurial and greedy clergyman, more dedicated to hog farming than to the care of souls, who refuses to lend Mr. Adams money for his inn bill.
Mrs. TrulliberThe downtrodden wife of Parson Trulliber.
Hunter of MenAn eccentric and rather sadistic country gentleman who sets his hunting dogs on Mr. Adams, allows his friends to play cruel jokes on him, and attempts to abduct Fanny.
CaptainOne of the Squire’s friends, abducts Fanny on the Squire’s orders but is himself taken prisoner by servants of Lady Booby.
PlayerOne of the Squire’s friends, a failed actor who pursues Fanny on the Squire’s orders but flees when the Captain is taken prisoner.
PoetOne of the Squire’s friends, a failed playwright who pursues Fanny on the Squire’s orders but flees when the Captain is taken prisoner.
Quack-DoctorOne of the Squire’s friends; comes up with a Socratic practical joke that exploits Mr. Adams’s pedantry.
PriestDiscourses on the vanity of riches before asking Mr. Adams for money to pay his inn bill.
Lawyer ScoutTells Mr. Adams that Joseph has worked long enough to gain a settlement in Lady Booby’s parish, but then becomes a willing accomplice in Lady Booby’s attempt to expel Joseph and Fanny.
Justice FrolickThe local magistrate who cooperates with Lady Booby’s attempt to expel Joseph and Fanny from her parish.
Beau DidapperA guest of Lady Booby’s, lusts after Fanny and makes several unsuccessful attempts on her.
PimpA servant of Beau Didapper’s, attempts to persuade Fanny to accept his master’s advances and then makes a few attempts on his own behalf.
Dick AdamsA son of Mr. and Mrs. Adams, nearly drowns in a river but is rescued by the Pedlar. He then reads the story of Leonard and Paul to his parents’ guests.
LeonardA married man who argues frequently with his wife while entertaining his friend Paul in their home. Like his wife, he eventually accepts Paul’s advice always to yield in disputes, even and especially when he knows himself to be right.
Leonard's WifeThe wife of Leonard, with whom she argues frequently while they are entertaining his friend Paul in their home. Like her husband, she eventually accepts Paul’s advice always to yield in disputes, even and especially when she knows herself to be right.
PaulLeonard’s friend, separately advises both Leonard and Leonard’s wife to adhere to the “Doctrine of Submission.”
Joseph Andrews Essays and Related Content
- Joseph Andrews: Major Themes
- Joseph Andrews: Essays
- Joseph Andrews: E-Text
- Joseph Andrews: Questions
- Joseph Andrews: Purchase the Novel and Related Material
- Henry Fielding: Biography
- Joseph Andrews Summary
- About Joseph Andrews
- Character List
- Glossary of Terms
- Major Themes
- Quotes and Analysis
- Summary and Analysis of Preface and Book I, Chapters I through VI
- Summary and Analysis of Book I, Chapters VII through XII.
- Summary and Analysis of Book I, Chapters XIII through XVIII.
- Summary and Analysis of Book II, Chapters I through V.
- Summary and Analysis of Book II, Chapters VI through XII.
- Summary and Analysis of Book II, Chapters XIII through XVII.
- Summary and Analysis of Book III, Chapters I through III.
- Summary and Analysis of Book III, Chapters IV through VI.
- Summary and Analysis of Book III, Chapters VII through XIII.
- Summary and Analysis of Book IV, Chapters I through VIII.
- Summary and Analysis of Book IV, Chapters IX through XVI.
- Henry Fielding and Samuel Richardson
- Related Links on Joseph Andrews
- Suggested Essay Questions
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 1
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 2
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 3
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 4
- Author of ClassicNote and Sources