Marked by three substantial publications, 1749 was a remarkable year for Fielding. Whatever contentment she found in her achievements, however, vanished quickly. In the summer of 1750, Londoners suffered through a sustained heat wave, which fueled a horrific outbreak of jail fever, a particularly deadly form of typhus. The epidemic would have devastating effects on the Fielding family. The Battestins report that the disease spread from prisoners who were brought from the Old Baily for trial during the Easter Sessions. 1 One contemporary observer noted that the “malignant Fever” became “so rife about the Town, as to have carried a great many People off in such very short Periods of Time as may shock the Survivors.” 2 Among the dead were Sir Samuel Pennant, London’s Lord Mayor, and many other prominent citizens. 3 On July 5, 1750, the fever claimed Fielding’s older sister Catherine, who died a few days before her forty-second birthday. 4 In August, the family mourned the loss of Henry’s eight-year-old son, Henry, for whom Sarah had cared following Charlotte’s death. 5 Within a few months, Fielding lost her two remaining sisters. Ursula was buried on December 12, 1750/51, Beatrice on February 24. 6 Within the course of seven months, Fielding lost a nephew and the three siblings who collectively comprised her household.