The text of this edition of one of the finest and funniest epistolary novels is taken from the first edition of 1771 and includes the illustrations that Thomas Rowlandson added to the novel in 1790-93.
A few obvious typographical errors have been corrected, but Smollett's creative misspellings in the letters of Tabitha Bramble and the inimitable Win Jenkins have been retained with all of their comically earthy overtones.
"Contemporary Responses" to the controversial Smollett's last novel are provided by a series of reviews that appeared on the English scene immediately after its publication. A letter from a friend to the author on the novel's publication is also included.
Criticism includes Sir Walter Scott's early-nineteenth-century assessment of the novel; modern essays by Lewis M. Knapp, Byron Gassman, Mary Wagoner, William Park, Wolfgang Iser, John Sekora, and John F. Sena; and a bibliographical essay by Connie Capers Thorson.
The volume also contains a selective Bibliography of works on Smollett and on Humphry Clinker in particular.