Among the great imaginative writers of the first half of the eighteenth century, Fielding was second only to Swift in his knowledge of history and his interest in historiographical problems. The striking evidence is not that he called his novels histories--he was not unique in that--hut rather that he pursued the discipline avidly, amassing a large historical library and producing non-fictional writings which constantly display his historical learning. Moreover, he is one of the few great imaginative writers of any period to end a literary career by expressing an outright preference for "fact" over "fiction," for Herodotus over Homer: witness his extraordinary comment in the Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon that, although he does not suppose Homer and other ancient poets intended to "pervert and confuse the records of antiquity," that was their effect, and that he "should have honoured and loved Homer more had he written a true history of his own times in humble prose than those noble poems."
Goldgar, Bertrand A.
"Fielding on Fiction and History,"
3, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/ecf/vol7/iss3/3