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Pamela or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson

Download Pamela or Virtue Rewarded ebook. Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded is an epistolary novel by English writer Samuel Richardson, first published in 1740. It tells the story of a beautiful 15-year-old maidservant named Pamela Andrews, whose country landowner master, Mr. B, makes unwanted and inappropriate advances towards her after the death of his mother. After Mr. B attempts unsuccessfully to seduce and rape her multiple times, he eventually rewards her virtue when he sincerely proposes an equitable marriage to her. Pamela, who is emotionally fragile and confused by Mr. B’s manipulation, accepts his proposal. In the novel’s second part, Pamela marries Mr. B and tries to acclimatize to upper-class society. The story, a best-seller of its time, was very widely read but was also criticized for its perceived licentiousness and glorification of abuse.

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 his failed attempt at seduction a 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.

Editorial Reviews

I bought this book for a class called Sex and Intercourse in 18th Century Literature, which, might I add, is a BLAST. I would say that the first part of the book is a little nerve wracking but having finished the book, I can see why so much time was spent on it. Beyond what the book as about on the surface, there is a great deal of insight into class structures and I am actually doing a creative writing project from the point of view of a secondary character. If you are interested in literature from this time, you really need to read this book.

Pamela or Virtue Rewarded ebook pdf, epub, mobi, prc

About the Author

Samuel Richardson (19 August 1689 – 4 July 1761) was an 18th-century English writer and printer. He is best known for his three epistolary novels: Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded (1740), Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady (1748) and The History of Sir Charles Grandison (1753). Richardson was an established printer and publisher for most of his life and printed almost 500 different works, including journals and magazines. He was also known to collaborate closely with the London bookseller Andrew Millar on several occasions.[1]

At a very early age, Richardson was apprenticed to a printer, whose daughter he eventually married. He lost his first wife along with their five sons, and eventually remarried. With his second wife, he had four daughters who reached adulthood, but no male heirs to continue running the printing business. While his print shop slowly ran down, he wrote his first novel at the age of 51 and immediately became one of the more popular and admired writers of his time.

Richardson knew leading figures in 18th-century England, including Samuel Johnson and Sarah Fielding. In the London literary world, he was a rival of Henry Fielding, and the two responded to each other’s literary styles in their own novels.

His name was on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a list established by the pope containing the names of books that Catholics were not allowed to read.

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