Defying her parents’ desire for her to marry a loathsome man for his wealth, the virtuous Clarissa escapes into the dangerous arms of the charming rogue Lovelace, whose intentions are much less than honorable. This thought-provoking work, written entirely in intimate letters, exposes the delicacy and complexity of affairs of the human heart. The fatal attraction between villain and victim builds and unfolds into a relationship that haunts the imagination as fully as that of Romeo and Juliet or Tristan and Isolde.
Abridged and with an Introduction by Sheila Ortiz-Taylor and a New Afterword by Lynn Shepherd
Samuel Richardson, one of England's early novelists, published Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded anonymously in 1740. The first bestseller in English fiction, Pamela excited a storm of controversy, in which it was both denounced as thinly veiled pornography and praised for setting an example of righteous conduct. Its publication marks a defining moment in the development of the modern novel, in which the genre suddenly and irrevocably developed the potential for moral seriousness. Three centuries later, Richardson's novel remains an engaging tale of psychological complexity.
'O the deceitfulness of the heart of man! This John, whom I took to be the honestest of men ... this very fellow was all the while a vile hypocrite, and a perfidious wretch, and helping to carry on my ruin'
Fifteen-year-old Pamela Andrews, alone in the world, is pursued by her dead mistress's son. Although she is attracted to Mr B, she holds out against his demands, determined to protect her virginity and abide by her moral standards.
Psychlologically acute in its explorations of sex, freedom and power, Richardson's first novel caused a sensation when it was published. Richly comic and lively, Pamela contains a diverse cast of characters ranging from the vulgar and malevolent Mrs Jewkes to the agressive but awkward country squire.
The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
Psychlologically acute in its explorations of sex, freedom and power, Richardson's first novel caused a senastion when it was published. Richly comic and lively, PAMELA contains a diverse cast of characters ranging from the vulgar and malevolent Mrs Jewkes to the agressive but awkward country squire.
Pamela opens in England, with a young maidservant who works for a noblewoman, Lady B. When Lady B suddenly dies, her son becomes infatuated with the young Pamela and tries to seduce her into becoming his mistress. When Pamela refuses, Mr B kidnaps her and locks her away in his country cottage. There the clever Pamela tries to escape, but Mr B has other plans ...
A best-selling and influential novel of its time, Pamela is an endearing story of misguided lust transformed into love, no matter the obstacles.
Pamela is part of Momentum's Classic Romance collection.
This new abridgment is designed to retain the novel’s rich characterizations and relationships, and reproduces individual letters in their entirety whenever possible. This Broadview Edition provides a uniquely accessible entry point for readers, while retaining much of the powerful reading experience of the complete novel.
Pamela Andrews is a pious, innocent fifteen-year-old who works as Lady B's maidservant in Bedfordshire. The novel starts after Lady B has died, when her son, the squire Mr. B, begins to pay Pamela more attention, first giving her his mother's clothes, then trying to seduce her in the Summer House. When he wants to pay her to keep the attempt secret, she refuses and tells Mrs. Jervis, the housekeeper, her best friend at the house. Undaunted, he hides in her closet and pops out and tries to kiss her as she undresses for bed. Pamela debates returning to her impoverished parents to preserve her innocence, but remains undecided.
Mr. B claims that he plans to marry her to Mr. Williams, his chaplain in Lincolnshire, and gives money to her parents in case she will let him take advantage of her. She refuses and decides to go back to her parents, but Mr. B intercepts her letters to her parents and tells them that she is having a love affair with a poor clergyman and that he will send her to a safe place to preserve her honour. Pamela is then driven to Lincolnshire Estate and begins a journal, hoping it will be sent to her parents one day. The Lincolnshire Estate housekeeper, Mrs. Jewkes, is no Mrs. Jervis: she is a rude, "odious", "unwomanly" woman who is devoted to Mr. B; Pamela suspects that she might even be "an atheist!". Mrs. Jewkes constrains Pamela to be her bedfellow. Mr. B promises that he won't approach her without her leave, and then in fact stays away from Lincolnshire for a long time.
Pamela meets Mr. Williams and they agree to communicate by putting letters under a sunflower in the garden. Mrs. Jewkes continues to maltreat Pamela, even beating her after she calls her a "Jezebel". Mr. Williams asks the village gentry for help; though they pity Pamela, none will help her because of Mr. B's social position. Sir Simon even argues that no one will hurt her, and no family name will be tarnished since Pamela belongs to the poor Andrews family. Mr. Williams proposes marriage to her to escape Mr. B's wickedness.
Mr. Williams is attacked and beaten by robbers. Pamela wants to escape when Mrs. Jewkes is away, but is terrified by two nearby cows that she thinks are bulls. Mr. Williams accidentally reveals his correspondence with Pamela to Mrs. Jewkes; Mr. B jealously says that he hates Pamela, as he has claimed before. He has Mr. Williams arrested and plots to marry Pamela to one of his servants. Desperate, Pamela thinks of running away and making them believe she has drowned in the pond. She tries unsuccessfully to climb a wall, and, when she is injured, she gives up.
Mr. B returns and sends Pamela a list of articles that would rule their partnership; she refuses because it means she would be his mistress. With Mrs. Jewkes' complicity, Mr. B gets into bed with Pamela disguised as the housemaid Nan, but, when Pamela falls into a fit and seems like to die, he seems to repent and is kinder in his seduction attempts. She implores him to stop altogether. In the garden he implicitly says he loves her but can't marry her because of the social gap.