Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady

Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady


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Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson

"Oh thou savage-hearted monster! What work hast thou made in one guilty hour, for a whole age of repentance!"

Pressured by her unscrupulous family to marry a wealthy man she detests, the young Clarissa Harlowe is tricked into fleeing with the witty and debonair Robert Lovelace and places herself under his protection. Lovelace, however, proves himself to be an untrustworthy rake whose vague promises of marriage are accompanied by unwelcome and increasingly brutal sexual advances. And yet, Clarissa finds his charm alluring, her scrupulous sense of virtue tinged with unconfessed desire. Told through a complex series of interweaving letters, Clarissa is a richly ambiguous study of a fatally attracted couple and a work of astonishing power and immediacy. A huge success when it first appeared in 1747, and translated into French and German, it remains one of the greatest of all European novels.

In his introduction, Angus Ross examines characterization, the epistolary style, the role of the family and the position of women in Clarissa. This edition also includes a chronology, suggestions for further reading, tables of letters, notes, a glossary and an appendix on the music for the "Ode to Wisdom."

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140432152
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/1986
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 1536
Sales rank: 191,962
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 9.20(h) x 2.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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. Thirteen years later he set himself up as a stationer and printer and became of the leading figures in the trade. He printed political material, newspapers and literature. 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. Pamela was a great success and went on to write Clarissa, one of the masterpieces of European literature.

Angus Ross is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Sussex. He writes on eighteenth-century and other literature and has edited Swift as well as a number of anthologies.

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Clarissa, Or The History of a Young Lady: (Abridged Edition) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book for a literature class. I liked the humor, it was easy to read. The point of view from a letter format was easy to follow. Barnes & Noble shipped the book quickly and I received it on time. Thanks for the great read!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read Clarissa during my B.A studies and promptly forgot about it - until years later when I, a chronic co-dependant personality, was required to stand up for my own life in no uncertain way. Then I remembered the story of a woman whose ever-increasing personal growth was contrasted by the ever-diminishing personal space she occupied - not by choice but as a result of her determination to become fully alive and free! Eleanor Cowan, author of : 'A History of a Pedophile's Wife'
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