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Businessman and benefactor to the poor, pioneer in improving England’s postal system, friend and host to many important eighteenth-century writers and public figures, and the original of “Squire Allworthy” in Fielding’s Tom Jones, Ralph Allen of Bath (1693–1764) was a fine example of the benevolent man, the type of generous, innocent, amiable, Christian gentleman often idealized in eighteenth-century writings. In this first complete account of Allen’s life, the author traces the intricacies of Allen’s personal, political, and business connections, and provides what amounts to a history of Bath in the years when it was becoming the most fashionable spa in England.