Clarissa: Or The History Of A Young Lady

Paperback | February 4, 1986

bySamuel RichardsonIntroduction byAngus RossNotes byAngus Ross

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"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.

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From Our Editors

 Samuel Richardson’s novel is one of the triumphs of European literature. Written in the form of letters between the beautiful and virtuous Clarissa and the charmingly villainous Lovelace, Richardson captures their sense of secretive urgency and personal nuances as the ambiguity fraught plot gathers psychological momentum before explod...

From the Publisher

"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, ...

From the Jacket

‘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, ...

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....

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:1536 pages, 9.18 × 5.74 × 2.2 inPublished:February 4, 1986Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140432159

ISBN - 13:9780140432152

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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Customer Reviews of Clarissa: Or The History Of A Young Lady

Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from So tough to get through This is a long, gruelling, and frustrating read. You've been warned!
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rise to the challenge! Here it is, one of the longest novels in English, completely in letters. Samuel Richardson, whose Pamela is arguably the first English novel (and the butt of Henry Fielding's satire in Joseph Andrews) produces a multi-voiced masterpiece of psychological and emotional realism. Clarissa Harlowe, beautiful and wealthy, is pursued by rakish Richard Lovelace, with tragic results. Beware of abridgements! A large part of the power of this novel -- one of the greatest in European literature -- is the slow, inexorable unfolding of Lovelace's machinations. The novel takes time, much time, but more than rewards persistence. Rise to the challenge!
Date published: 2014-02-26

Extra Content

From Our Editors

 Samuel Richardson’s novel is one of the triumphs of European literature. Written in the form of letters between the beautiful and virtuous Clarissa and the charmingly villainous Lovelace, Richardson captures their sense of secretive urgency and personal nuances as the ambiguity fraught plot gathers psychological momentum before exploding in all directions. Witty, erudite and compelling the romance and tragedy in Clarissa is as star told as that of Romeo and Juliet or Trisan and Isolde. An illuminating introduction and annotations by Angus Ross accompany this Penguin Classic.