In his novels and pamphlets, Henry Fielding promotes a hierarchical structure that suppresses the common people. But his writings, especially his novel Joseph Andrews, his pamphlets, the 1749 A True State of the Case of Bosavern Penlez and the 1751 Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers, and his newspaper, the Covent Garden Journal, also display a certainty that the poor possessed both power and agency. He encouraged all citizens to take part in legal actions from policing to prosecuting. This essay argues that while he condemns citizens who attempt to change the law, he also calls on them to take a greater part in enforcing them.

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