Pamela (by Samuel Richardson)

Richardson, Samuel

Samuel Richardson, 1689–1761, English novelist, b. Derbyshire. When he was 50 and a prosperous printer, Richardson was asked to compose a guide to letter writing. The idea of introducing a central theme occurred to him, and he interrupted his task to write and publish his novel of morals in letter form, Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (2 vol., 1740), a work that is widely considered the first modern English novel. The novel tells the story of a virtuous young maidservant who so successfully eludes the lecherous assaults of her employer's son that the young man finally marries her. The guide, known now as Familiar Letters, came out in 1741, just before the two-volume sequel to Pamela. Richardson wrote two more long, epistolary novels, Clarissa Harlowe (7 vol., 1747–48), the tragic story of a girl who runs off with her seducer, regarded today as his best work, and The History of Sir Charles Grandison (7 vol., 1753–54). All Richardson's novels were enormously popular in their day. Although he was a verbose and sentimental storyteller, his role as a literary pioneer, his emphasis on detail, his psychological insights into women, and his dramatic technique have earned him a prominent place among English novelists.

See his correspondence, ed. by A. L. Barbauld (6 vol., 1804; repr. 1966); biographies by T. C. Duncan Eaves and B. D. Kimpel (1971) and J. Harris (1987); studies by J. W. Krutch (1930, repr. 1959), J. J. Carroll (1969), M. Kinkead-Weekes (1973), C. G. Wolff (1973), W. B. Warner (1979), C. H. Flynn (1982), M. Doody and P. Sabor, ed. (1989), and L. Curran (2016).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Pamela (by Samuel Richardson): Selected full-text books and articles

FREE! Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded By Samuel Richardson Century, 1904
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
A Natural History of the Romance Novel By Pamela Regis University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003
Pamela's Daughters By Robert Palfrey Utter; Gwendolyn Bridges Needham The Macmillan Company, 1936
Richardson's Pamela, Defoe's Roxana, and Emulation Anxiety in Eighteenth-Century Britain By Booker, Kristina Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Vol. 14, No. 2, Spring 2014
Servants of the Market: Pamela's Literary Entourage By Festa, Lynn Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Vol. 51, No. 4, December 1, 2010
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
A Lumber-Room of Her Own: Attics in Pamela and Jane Eyre By Han, John Sung Style, Vol. 48, No. 4, Winter 2014
"I Am Become a Mere Usurer": Pamela and Domestic Stock-Jobbing By Ingrassia, Catherine Studies in the Novel, Vol. 30, No. 3, Fall 1998
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Pamela's Work By Rosenthal, Laura J Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Vol. 46, No. 3, Fall 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Popean Echoes in 'Pamela': The Lady Davers Scene By McAllister, Marie E Papers on Language & Literature, Vol. 28, No. 4, Fall 1992
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews By Henry Fielding Minority Press, 1930
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
"Pamela," Richardson, and the Epistolary Novel By Timko, Mike The World and I, Vol. 31, No. 10, October 2016
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