Pamela by Samuel Richardson
Or Virtue Rewarded (Oxford World's Classics)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

The publication of Pamela in 1740 marked a defining moment in the emergence of the modern novel. It vividly describes a young servant's long resistance to the attempts of her predatory master to seduce her. It is a work of pioneering psychological complexity and a compelling and provocative study of power and its abuse. This edition is based on the original text of 1740, that aroused widespread controversy on its first appearance. - ;'Pamela under the Notion of being a Virtuous Modest Girl will be introduced into all Familes,and when she gets there, what Scenes does she represent? Why a fine young Gentleman endeavouring to debauch a beautiful young Girl of Sixteen.' (Pamela Censured, 1741)

One of the most spectacular successes of the burgeoning literary marketplace of eighteeent-century London, Pamela also marked a defining moment in the emergence of the modern novel. In the words of one contemporary, it divided the world 'into two different Parties, Pamelists and Antipamelists', even eclipsing the sensational factional politics of the day. Preached up for its morality, and denounced as pornography in disguise, it vividly describes a young servant's long resistance to
the attempts of her predatory master to seduce her. Written in the voice of its low-born heroine, but by a printer who fifteen years earlier had narrowly escaped imprisonment for the seditious output of his press, Pamela is not only a work of pioneering psychological complexity, but also a compelling and
provocative study of power and its abuse.

Based on the original text of 1740, from which Richardson later retreated in a series of defensive revisions, this edition makes available the version of Pamela that aroused such widespread controversy on its first appearance. -
 

About Samuel Richardson

See more books from this Author
Samuel Richardson was born in Derbyshire in 1689, the son of a London joiner. He received little formal education and in 1707 was apprenticed to a printer in the capital. Thirteen years later he set up for himself as a stationer and printer and became one of the leading figures in the London trade. As a printer his output included political writing, such as the Tory periodical The True Briton, the newspapers, Daily Journal (1736-7) and Daily Gazeteer (1738), together with twenty-six volumes of the Journals of the House of Commons and general law printing. He was twice married and had twelve children. His literary career began when two booksellers proposed that he should compile a volume of model letters for unskilled letter writers. While preparing this Richardson became fascinated by the project, and a small sequence of letters from a daughter in service, asking her father's advice when threatened by her master's advances, formed the germ of Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (1740-41). Pamela was a huge success and became something of a cult novel. By May 1741 it reached a fourth edition and was dramatized in Italy by Goldoni, as well as in England. His masterpiece, Clarissa or, the History of a Young Lady, one of the greatest European novels, was published in 1747-8. Richardson's last novel, The History of Sir Charles Grandison, appeared in 1753-4. His writings brought him great personal acclaim and a coterie of devoted admirers who liked to discuss with him the moral aspects of the action in the novels. Samuel Richardson died in 1761 and is buried in St Bride's Church, London.
 
Published June 7, 2001 by Oxford University Press, UK. 591 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Pamela

Review (Barnes & Noble)

In the following passage, also from an early letter home, the conniving "Sham" reports to her complicit mother a conversation with Mrs. Jervis, the housekeeper, which shows that they have the situation, and Squire Booby, well in hand: And so, Mrs. Jervis, says I, you would have me yield myself t...

Nov 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded (O...

The New York Review of Books

This is why of his three novels Clarissa is still read for the compelling story it is, despite its flaws, and Pamela and Sir Charles Grandison are read nowadays for their historical interest, like The Castle of Otranto.

Apr 20 1972 | Read Full Review of Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded (O...

Book Forum

Shields employs her own beautiful prose to address the status of fiction in Austen’s day, recognizing more authors that Austen loved, including Maria Edgeworth and Charlotte Smith.

Aug 18 2009 | Read Full Review of Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded (O...

Reader Rating for Pamela
65%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 13 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×