Pamela, Volume 1

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1958 - Fiction - 533 pages
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Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) a prominent London printer, is considered by many the father of the English novel, and " Pamela" the first modern novel. Following its hugely successful publication in 1740, it went on to become one of the most influential books in literary history, setting the course for the novel for the next century and beyond. " Pamela" reflects changing social roles in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, as a rising middle class offered women more choices and as traditional master-servant relationships underwent change.

Based on actual events, " Pamela" is the story of a young girl who goes to work in a private residence and finds herself pursued by her employer's son, described as a "gentleman of free principles." Unfolding through letters, the novel depicts with much feeling Pamela's struggles to decide how to respond to her would-be seducer and to determine her place in society.

  

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Contents

Section 1
7
Section 2
8
Section 3
9
Section 4
35
Section 5
69
Section 6
85
Section 7
98
Section 8
112
Section 23
189
Section 24
201
Section 25
202
Section 26
203
Section 27
207
Section 28
221
Section 29
235
Section 30
236

Section 9
119
Section 10
121
Section 11
128
Section 12
138
Section 13
144
Section 14
148
Section 15
149
Section 16
150
Section 17
162
Section 18
163
Section 19
164
Section 20
167
Section 21
171
Section 22
175
Section 31
262
Section 32
304
Section 33
343
Section 34
348
Section 35
372
Section 36
381
Section 37
400
Section 38
415
Section 39
440
Section 40
486
Section 41
506
Section 42
523
Copyright

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About the author (1958)

A printer and bookseller who wrote love letters for servant girls as an apprentice, studied nights to improve himself, and married the boss's daughter, Samuel Richardson undertook at age 50 to write a book of sample courtesy notes, marriage proposals, job applications, and business letters for young people. While imagining situations for this book, he recalled an old scandal and developed it into Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740--44), a novel about a servant girl whose firmness, vitality, literacy, and superior intelligence turn her master's lust into a decorous love that leads to their marriage. All of Pamela's virtues of fresh characterization, immediacy (what Richardson called "writing to the moment" of the character's consciousness), and the involvement of the reader in the character's intense and fluctuating fantasies, together with a much more focused seriousness, a more varied and differentiated cast of letter writers, and a more fundamental examination of moral and social issues, make his second novel, Clarissa Hawlowe (1747--48), a masterpiece. Although anyone who reads this huge novel for its plot may hang himself (as Richardson's friend Samuel Johnson said), readers have been fascinated by the complex conflict between Clarissa Harlowe and Robert Lovelace, two of the most fully realized characters, psychologically and socially, in all of literature. Like such great successors as Rousseau (see Vol. 3), an acknowledged follower of Richardson, Dostoevsky (see Vol. 2), and D. H. Lawrence, Richardson understands and shows us, in Diderot's (see Vols. 2 and 4) appreciative image, the black recesses of the cave of the mind. Although Richardson's last novel, Sir Charles Grandison (1753--54), like Pamela Part II , mainly undertakes comic delineation of manners, it also examines the serious issues of love between a Protestant and a Catholic, and experiments technically with flashbacks, with stenographic reports, and most assertively with a pure hero, a male Clarissa of irresistible charm and power. At its best, Richardson's work fuses the epistolary technique, the use of dramatic scenes, the traditions of religious biography, and the elements of current romantic fiction to achieve precise analysis, an air of total verisimilitude, and a vision of a world of primal psychological forces in conflict.

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