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Pamela or Virtue Rewarded
Samuel Richardson
$20.00

Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded is an epistolary novel first published in 1740 by English writer Samuel Richardson. Considered one of the first true English novels, it serves as Richardson’s version of conduct literature about marriage. Pamela tells the story of a fifteen-year-old maidservant named Pamela Andrews, whose employer, Mr. B, a wealthy landowner, makes unwanted and inappropriate advances towards her after the death of his mother. Pamela strives to reconcile her strong religious training with her desire for the approval of her employer in a series of letters and, later in the novel, journal entries all addressed to her impoverished parents. After various unsuccessful attempts at seduction, a series of sexual assaults, and an extended period of kidnapping, the rakish Mr. B eventually reforms and makes Pamela a sincere proposal of marriage. In the novel’s second part Pamela marries Mr. B and tries to acclimatise to her new position in upper-class society. The full title, Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded, makes plain Richardson’s moral purpose. A best-seller of its time, Pamela was widely read but was also criticized for its perceived licentiousness and disregard for class barriers. Furthermore, Pamela was an early commentary on domestic violence and brought into question the dynamic line between male aggression and a contemporary view of love. Moreover, Pamela, despite the controversies, was able to shed light on social issues that transcended the novel for the time such as gender roles, early false-imprisonment, and class barriers present in the eighteenth century. The action of the novel is told through letters and journal entries from Pamela to her parents. Richardson highlights a theme of naivety, illustrated through the eyes of Pamela. Richardson paints Pamela herself as innocent and meek to further contribute to the theme of her being short-sighted to emphasize the ideas of childhood innocence and naivety.

Illustrated

Publisher:
The Century Company
Publish Date:
1904
Pages:
543
Format:
hardcover
ISBN:
Price:
$20.00

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