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Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson

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 intirely divested of all those Images, which, in too many Pieces calculated for Amusement only, tend to inflame the Minds they should instruct.(From the frontspiece of the first edition)
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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By Samuel Richardson


Samuel Richardson, the first, in order of time, of the great English novelists, was born in 1689 and died at London in 1761. He was a printer by trade, and rose to be master of the Stationers' Company. That he also became a novelist was due to his skill as a letter writer, which brought him, in his fiftieth year, a commission to write a volume of model "familiar letters" as an aid to persons too illiterate to compose their own. The notion of connecting these letters by a story which had interested him suggested the plot of "Pamela" and determined its epistolary form a form which was retained in his later works.

This novel (published 1740) created an epoch in the history of English fiction, and, with its successors, exerted a wide influence upon Continental literature. It is appropriately included in a series which is designed to form a group of studies of English life by the masters of English fiction. For it marked the transition from the novel of adventure to the novel of character from the narration of entertaining events to the study of men and of manners, of motives and of sentiments... Continue reading book >>

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