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 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.
Born in 1689, Samuel Richardson was the son of a London joiner. He received little formal education but went on to acheive great acclaim and popularity through his writing. He was married twice, had twelve children, and died in 1761. M.A Doody is Professor of Literature at the University of Notre Dame, she has published widely on in literary criticism.
Considering that it was first published more than 250 years ago, Pamela is still a shocking book. Written by a man, it is a strong denunciation of a man's abuse of his power over a woman. Pamela is a 14-year-old maid whose mistress, Lady B, has just died. Her young master takes a fancy to Pamela, but his social status naturally means that he can't make honourable advances to her. In a series of letters to her parents, and later in a private journal, Pamela recounts the attempts Mr B makes on her virtue, and her own staunch resistance. Her master eventually abducts Pamela to another house, where she is kept prisoner by the frightful Mrs Jewkes. The outcome is as unlikely as it is satisfactory. For the modern reader, Pamela has strong elements of the ludicrous. The heroine spends most of the book with her apron over her face, bawling her eyes out. And Mr B is an unconvincing villain. His attempts at rape are rather too easily discouraged, and when thwarted he sulks and stamps his feet like a child. The strength of the book, though, is its basic premise: that no human being has the right to exercise power over another to their detriment, whatever their status. (Kirkus UK)
or, Virtue Rewarded
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