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Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded

Samuel Richardson

Book Overview: 

Now first Published In order to cultivate the Principles of Virtue and Religion in the Minds of the Youth of Both Sexes.
A Narrative which has its Foundation in Truth and Nature; and at the same time that it agreeably entertains, by a Variety of curious and affecting Incidents, is entirely divested of all those Images, which, in too many Pieces calculated for Amusement only, tend to inflame the Minds they should instruct.
Pamela tells the story of a 14 year old lady’s maid named Pamela whose master, Mr. B., makes unwanted advances towards her. She rejects him continually, and her virtue is eventually rewarded when he shows his sincerity by proposing an equitable marriage to her.
In Pamela’s letters to her “poor but exemplary parents” the story unfolds.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Jewkes! Jewkes! thought I; I have heard of that name; I don't like it.

Then the wicked creature appeared, whom I had never seen but once before, and I was terrified out of my wits. No stratagem, thought I, not one! for a poor innocent girl; but every thing to turn out against me; that is hard indeed!

So I began to pull in my horns, as they say, for I saw I was now worse off than at the farmer's.

The naughty woman came up to me with an air of confidence, and kissed me: See, sister, said she, here's a charming creature! Would she not tempt the best lord in the land to run away with her? O frightful! thought I; here's an avowal of the matter at once: I am now gone, that's certain. And so was quite silent and confounded; and seeing no help for it, (for she would not part with me out of her sight) I was forced to set out with her in the chariot for she came thither on horseback, with a man-servant, who rode by us the rest of the way, leading h. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Come on, Goodreads - surely Richardson deserves at least four stars for inventing the novel? Pamela was the first time the full potential of long prose narrative was realised as a form that could explore character and psychology as well as tell a story. By hitting on the concept of the epistolary no

Creepy 18th-century Guy: Hey, baby. Now that my mom died, I’m your boss now.

Innocent Maidservant: Um, yeah. I know.

CG: But don’t worry. I’ll take reeeeaaaallly good care of you.

IM: ...thanks?

CG: And I’m sure you’ll want to be nice to me right back, if you know what I’m saying. Wink, wink. Nudge, nud

read the one thousand plus pages or just the title, which also tells the whole story

It saddens me that Goodreads has no love for this book. First of all, it's one of the earliest novels ever written, so it deserves more respect from that perspective alone. Secondly, you have to place it in its time. Early 18th century readers found this material quite titillating, and of course wan

I really didn't like this book. My British novel professor assures me that my affection for it will grow over the years, but I somehow doubt that at this point. Pamela is a dangerous picture of womanhood... she is largely responsible for the whole "women have power in powerlessness" idea that left m

Undoubtedly I was far too young to appreciate this when I was assigned it as an undergraduate. I will have to revisit it at some point.

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