'What a knowledge of the human heart!' wrote Samuel Richardson to Sarah Fielding in 1756. Sarah Fielding was one of the earliest English novelists to explore the feelings of her characters, and her close friend Richardson particularly praised her psychological insight, and her awareness of 'the finer springs and movements' of the heart. David Simple is a hero entirely without guile or duplicity. Unguarded against the hypocrisy of the world, he is tricked out of his inheritance and sets out on a quest for a true and honest friend. Like her brother Henry, Sarah Fielding was adept at telling a story with great wit and irony, and this 'Moral Romance' presents a darkly satirical vision of the world. This edition of David Simple, her first novel, reprints the text of the second edition of 1744, which was substantially revised and prefaced by Henry, working with Sarah's full approval. The sequel, Volume the Last, published in 1753, is also included here; in it she achieves a blend of irony and sentimentality quite her own.