Pamela - Samuel Richardson

Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded (Oxford World's Classics) - Alice Wakely, Samuel Richardson, Tom Keymer

This book made me genuinely ragey.


It's an eighteenth-century, epistolary novel written from the point of view of Pamela Andrews, a serving-girl whose mistress dies and leaves her to the unwanted advances of Mr B., her mistress' son.


Mr B., a charming piece of work, kidnaps Pamela and locks her up in a remote country house, cutting her off from family and friends and repeatedly threatening to rape her. Eventually, he succumbs to her persuasions and agrees to let her go - only for her to decide that, actually, she loves him after all, at which point SHE GOES BACK TO HIM.




To add insult to injury, Pamela is a cry-baby with absolutely no backbone (an early escape attempt is thwarted by her falling off a wall) who thinks it is perfectly fine to go on calling Mr B. "master" even after she's married to him. This is a relationship that makes Twilight look healthy.


It's also exceedingly dull. For the first 250 pages of the book, Pamela weeps and bemoans her lot; for the last 250, she falls at Mr B.'s feet and repeatedly reminds us that he is a GOD who can do anything he likes without fear or favour. Even his revelation that he has an illegitimate child provokes no further reaction in Pamela than, "Cool. Can we keep it?"


Urgh. Just urgh. Why was this ever popular?