The Penguin English Library Edition of Pamela by Samuel Richards
'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.
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Samuel Richardson (1689 - 1761) was born in Derbyshire, the son of a joiner. He received little formal education and in 1706 was apprenticed to a printer in London, going on to become one of the leading fgures in the printing trade. He is best known now for his three epistolary novels, Pamela, Clarissa and The History of Sir Charles Grandison. He began writing Pamela as a result of a suggestion from friends that he should compile a book of model letters for use by unskilled writers. It was a bestseller of its time but also caused some sensation due to its apparently licentious nature. Indeed, along with Milton, Voltaire, Sartre and many more, Richardson was included in the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a list of texts forbidden to Catholic readers which was established by the Pope in the 1550s and formally abolished in 1966.
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