Samuel Richardson

(circa August 19th, 1689 — July 4th, 1761)

Samuel Richardson was an English novelist and printer. Richardson is best known for his epistolary novels Clarissa: Or The History of a Young Lady, Pamela; Or, Virtue Rewarded, and The History of Sir Charles Grandison.

Richardson was apprenticed to a printer and eventually became a printer himself. He was a prolific publisher and worked periodically with London bookshops. At the age of 51, he wrote his first novel: Pamela; Or, Virtue Rewarded.

Richardson was an instant literary success. In the last twenty years of his life, he wrote five novels and: Pamela, a sequel to Pamela, Clarissa, a novel-length addition to Clarissa, and Sir Charles Grandison. He also wrote several supplemental works and instructional pieces, as well as an unfinished novel fragment.

He was known to revise his works heavily after publication, and all of his novels have multiple editions with various revisions. All of his books sold very well and many were translated into foreign languages. Pamela is sometimes considered the first modern English novel. He was also in part responsible for the popularization of the epistolary novel.

Richardson had two wives and ten children — only four of which survived to adulthood. His surviving children were all daughters. His six sons, most of whom were named ‘Samuel’, all perished in infancy.

Samuel Richardson is a book author.

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Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded, Shamela, and Joseph Andrews

18th Century

This November, I want to celebrate that with a month dedicated to essential romance novels from classic literature. Romance is not a genre I often read, but these books have made a profound impact on literature in general, and as such deserve their due consideration and analysis. This is a review of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded and two books best read with it Shamela and Joseph Andrews, both by Henry Fielding.