Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded
(THE GREAT CLASSICS LIBRARY)
Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded is an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, first published in 1740. The story was a bestseller of its time and was very widely read, even though it also received criticism for its perceived licentiousness.
It tells the story of a beautiful but poor 15-year old servant-maid named Pamela Andrews whose master, Mr. B, a nobleman, makes unwanted advances towards her after the death of his mother whose maid she was since the age of 12. Mr. B is infatuated with her, first by her looks and then her innocence and intelligence but his high rank hinders him from proposing marriage. He abducts her and locks her up in one of his estates and attempts to seduce and to rape her. She rejects him continually refusing to be his mistress though she begins to realize that she is falling in love with him. He intercepts and reads her letters to her parents and becomes even more enamored by her innocence and intelligence and her continuous attempts to escape. Her virtue is eventually rewarded when he shows his sincerity by proposing an equitable marriage to her as his legal wife. In the second part of the novel, Pamela attempts to accommodate herself to upper-class society and to build a successful relationship with him.
- Revenant, October 2012
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