Fool of Quality

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A novel in five volumes by H. Brooke, published in Dublin 1765–70 and in London 1766–70.

The narrative follows the education, growth, and manhood of Harry Clinton, the Fool of Quality, the second son of the earl of Moreland. The most important adult in his world is not his decadent father but his merchant uncle, Mr Clinton (sometimes Fenton), whose enlightened views on Harry's education (much influenced by Rousseau's Emile and Locke's On Education) guide the boy's growth into a wise and generous adult.

The book appealed greatly to J. Wesley and to Kingsley (who drew on it for his own novel Yeast). See also Sentimental Novel and Bildungsroman.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Henry Brooke (1703—1783) writer and playwright