Начиная рассказ о приключениях своих героев, автор обсуждает два типа отображения действительности. “Историки” довольствуются списыванием с натуры, а “биографы”, к которым причисляет себя и автор, видят свою задачу в описании не людей, а нравов, не конкретных индивидуумов, а вида в целом.
The ten-year-old Joseph Andrews was sent to the service of Sir Thomas Bubi. His patience was brought to the attention of pastor Abram Adams, he wanted to take the child into his care, because he believed that he was capable of more than to fulfill
After leaving London, Joseph goes to the parish of Adams, where, under the protection of the latter, his beloved Fanny lives. On the way, robbers attack him. The wounded young man gets to the inn, but the owner of the hotel Tau-Vauz and his wife take him for a tramp, and throw him into the care of Betty’s maid. Here the young man finds the pastor Adams, going to London, where he wants to publish a collection of his sermons in nine volumes. The pastor is an honest, good-natured and slightly naive person, an amateur to argue on theological and philosophical topics. But he has a passionate nature and is ready to fight injustice, not only in words, but also with the help of kulaks.
The pastor discovers that by absent-mindedness he left the manuscripts of his sermons at home and is going to go back with the boy, but they are separated by unforeseen circumstances. The pastor helps the girl, who tried to dishonor some scoundrel, and, having finished with him, was surprised to recognize his parishioner Fanny. It turns out that she found out about what had happened to her lover and hurried to his aid. At this time, the rapist came to, who after being introduced to the pastor was unconscious. He called for help from local peasants and accused Pastor and Fanny of being beaten and robbed. They were escorted to the judge, who, believing the word of the villain, delegated the matter to his secretary. The attacker disappeared after he had testified, and the girl and the pastor were rescued by the squire Bubi who happened to be in court.
Fanny and Adams find Joseph in a provincial hotel, where he waits for a raging downpour. Lovers ask the pastor to marry them, but he insists on the public announcement prescribed by the church. Everyone is going to set off on a further journey, but it turns out that because of Adams, who was somewhat exorbitantly applied to the ale, they have nothing to pay the owner. Suddenly they are rescued by some peddler.
Fleeing from the cattle-slaves, whom the travelers took for robbers, they find themselves in the home of a Mr. Wilson. Telling them stories from his life, he mentions that the gypsies stole his youngest son at a young age. Even after many years, Wilson would have recognized him, according to the birthmark in the form of strawberries, which he had on his chest.
On the way, the pastor nearly suffered from the hunting dogs of the squire John Templ, who, for the sake of fun, set them on the trail of fat Adams. Well-wielding truncheon Joseph rescued a friend, and the squire, a rich and treacherous person, paying attention to the beauty of Fanny, decided to take it and brought to Adams apology, referring to the rudeness of the huntsmen, and then invited everyone to his estate. At first, the squire and its friends showed feigned cordiality, but soon began to mock the pastor, who, with Fanny and Joseph, resigned indignantly to Temple’s mansion. The furious squire, who decided to master Fanny by any means, sends the servants in pursuit under the command of the captain. The captain finds travelers in the inn and after a fierce fight captures the girl. However, on the way to meet him, he finds a stroller, in which accompanied by armed men Peter Pence is riding – the butler of Lady Bubi. One of them recognizes Fanny, pleading to save her from the captain. By order of the butler, the captain is escorted back to the hotel. The girl reunites with her beloved and together with Pence and Adams they reach the estate.
Lady Bubi returns to the estate. She learns that Joseph is going to marry Fanny and Adams has already made a public announcement of the upcoming marriage. Tortured by jealousy, the lady summons the Scout’s lawyer. He gives her advice on how to get rid of lovers with the help of Judge Frolik. They are charged with theft, and the judge makes a sentence – a month in prison. However, the judge was not completely insensitive and is going to arrange an escape for young lovers.
A nephew of Lady Bubi who recently married Joseph’s sister Pamela comes. He tries to save his brother’s brother from the vengeance of his own aunt, convincing her that her honor will not suffer if she looks at him as a member of her family, because his sister is now married to her nephew. Lady Bubi was pleased with this turn of events, and she comes to the idea of marrying Joseph. She tells her nephew that Joseph deserves more than marriage with a simple peasant woman. Squire Bubi and Joseph’s sister try to dissuade him from marrying Fanny, but he does not agree to quit her for a career.
It turns out that the tests of lovers did not end there. In the estate appears peddler, rescued them and Adams in the hotel. He tells that his mistress, dying, admitted that she once stole children together with a gypsy gang. Once upon a time, she sold the dead wife Lady Bubi, a three-year-old girl, stolen in the Andrews family. This girl’s name is Fanny. Lovers come to despair – they turned out to be a brother and sister.
For the luck of lovers, Sir Wilson appears, who came with Joseph’s parents. It turned out that the gypsies, after stealing the boy, had placed him Andrews instead of Fanny, and they raised him as their own son. All doubts disappear when Wilson finds a birthmark reminiscent of strawberries, on Joseph’s chest.
Wilson gives Joseph consent to the marriage, and the squire Bubi suddenly generates and gives Fanny two thousand pounds for the dowry. This money to young spouses enough for a small estate in the neighborhood with Wilson. In addition, the squire Bubi finds a well-paid position for the large and needy Adams money and arranges a peddler with an excise official. Lady Bobby moves to London, where a young dragoon colonel helps her to forget Joseph.