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Samuel Richardson's Introduction to Pamela   By: (1689-1761)

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First Page:

The Augustan Reprint Society


Introduction to Pamela

Edited, with an Introduction by

Sheridan W. Baker, Jr.

Publication Number 48

Los Angeles William Andrews Clark Memorial Library University of California



RICHARD C. BOYS, University of Michigan RALPH COHEN, University of California, Los Angeles VINTON A. DEARING, University of California, Los Angeles LAWRENCE CLARK POWELL, Clark Memorial Library


W. EARL BRITTON, University of Michigan


EMMETT L. AVERY, State College of Washington BENJAMIN BOYCE, Duke University LOUIS BREDVOLD, University of Michigan JOHN BUTT, King's College, University of Durham JAMES L. CLIFFORD, Columbia University ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, University of Chicago EDWARD NILES HOOKER, University of California, Los Angeles LOUIS A. LANDA, Princeton University SAMUEL H. MONK, University of Minnesota ERNEST C. MOSSNER, University of Texas JAMES SUTHERLAND, University College, London H. T. SWEDENBERG, JR., University of California, Los Angeles


EDNA C. DAVIS, Clark Memorial Library


Since most publishers of Pamela have preferred to print Richardson's table of contents from the sixth edition, his complete introduction (his preface, together with letters to the editor and comments) is missing even from some of our best collections. Occasionally one finds the preface and the first two letters, but only four publishers since Richardson have attempted to reprint the full introduction. Harrison (London, 1785) who omits the first letter and Cooke (London, 1802 3) both follow Richardson's eighth edition; Ballantyne (Edinburgh, 1824) uses the fourth; the Shakespeare Head (Oxford, 1929), the third. And even these printings leave one dissatisfied. The Shakespeare Head gives the fullest text, but naturally omits Richardson's revisions; Cooke gives the introduction in its final form, but one misses the full text which accompanied the book in its heyday; and rarely are both Cooke and Shakespeare Head to be found in the same library.

Richardson's complete introduction gains importance when we note that he retained and revised it through seven of his eight editions of Pamela . To see the text and follow Richardson's changes is to get an unusually intimate view of his attitude toward his book, of his concessions and tenacities, of Richardson the anonymous "editor" who could not keep the author's laurels completely under his hat.

This present reprint, therefore, intends to give the fullest text of Richardson's introduction, and to indicate his changes. The text is that of the second edition, reproduced with permission of the Huntington Library. Brackets, added to this lithoprint, show Richardson's principal corrections: "4th" means that the bracketed lines were deleted in the fourth and all subsequent editions; "4th, change 6" means that in the fourth and subsequent editions the bracketed lines were changed to the reading listed here as number six. Several changes within deleted passages are discussed but not marked on the text.

Richardson's own editions of Pamela appeared as follows: (1) November 6, 1740, (2) February 14, 1741, (3) March 12, 1741, (4) May 5, 1741, (5) September 22, 1741, (6) May 10, 1742, (7) 1754, (8) October 28, 1761[1] (three months after Richardson's death). The first edition prints Richardson's preface and two complimentary letters. To these the "Introduction to this Second Edition" adds twenty four pages of letters and comment and the third edition makes no changes in the introduction whatsoever, even retaining "this Second Edition,"[2] The fourth makes some changes, and the fifth, considerably more... Continue reading book >>

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