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Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady by…
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Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady (original 1747; edition 2004)

by Samuel Richardson, Angus Ross (Editor)

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1,157307,029 (3.5)1 / 317
Member:souloftherose
Title:Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady
Authors:Samuel Richardson (Author)
Other authors:Angus Ross (Editor)
Info:London : Penguin, 2004
Collections:Your library, Use for recommendations, Read in 2012
Rating:*****
Tags:18th century fiction, British author, Epistolary, Penguin Classics, Guardian 1000 (love), 1001, #dimensions checked, Published: 1747, Acquired in 2012, Sentimental, 2012 75 books challenge, TIOLI, Location: spare room - classic fiction

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Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson (1747)

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English (29)  French (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Volume 7 Summary: I continue to be amazed at all that Clarissa experiences/ encounters/ endures. I am not surprised that she is thinking of closure and good no her for continuing to want nothing to do with Lovelace. That man is despicable beyond belief. If I hadn’t been so horrified by the unexpected turn of events Clarissa encountered (and which even Lovelace was shocked to learn about!), I would have laughed at how even the master of manipulation was not in control of all events as they unfold. Thank goodness there are people in the story like Lovelace’s friend Belford to try and balance out the wrongs of Lovelace and Clarissa’s family. Yes, I continue to point a finger at the Harlowes for their mean-spirited condemnation of Clarissa’s plight. Anyways…. Onwards I read. ( )
  lkernagh | Aug 21, 2016 |
Volume 6 Summary: A bit of excitement in this volume as Clarissa exhibits sudden fits of feistiness and calculated planning that has even Lovelace having moments of panic – not something I would have expected given that Lovelace has appeared to be the one in control up until now. What still continues to baffle me is “why”…. Why does Lovelace continue to plague Clarissa? I mean, I know that some individuals will persist in a course of action contrary to the desires of the object of interest, but even Lovelace must realize this really has gone too far, even for him! Of course, I was clapping my hands with joy when the events at the end of Volume 6 unfolded. Well played Clarissa! ( )
  lkernagh | Aug 11, 2016 |
Volume 5 Summary: OMG.... What can I say, spoiler free, except to comment that Lovelace is one very conniving, dubious individual. The fact that he has the time to come up with the various contrivances to test Clarissa's virtue is so despicable gives a whole knew understanding top the term "rake". No wonder Clarissa is feeling at her wits ends! She is hitting brick wall after brick wall in seeking her deliverance. Thankfully, she is not a woman without calculating means to counter and stymie Lovelace in his quest. This test of virtue he is exposing Clarissa to is just a young rich man's fancy gone way to far...why he doesn't spend his time chasing policeman's caps, etc I can only guess is due to his aversion to doing any jail time. As for Clarissa's family... where the heck have they been this past volume??? Nice family if they are that quick to disown their daughter and absolve themselves of any involvement in Clarissa's predicament , forgetting the fact that their desire that Clarissa marry the unwelcomed Solmes character as a "husband" for Clarissa, and was pretty much the precipice to everything that follows, makes me want to shame the family as being unworthy. Makes me wonder if a form of social media in the 1700's have produced a very different result to date (considering Clarissa's predicament comes down to the inability of Clarissa to find any "champions" to her cause other than than her friend Miss Howe and the more recent quavering of Belford, Lovelace's friend.

Overall, I can see why anyone trying to read the story based on letter dates gets frustrated. I swear over half of the story is captured in letters written between April and early July! I need a break from the drama - and drama it is!. ( )
  lkernagh | Jun 13, 2016 |
Volume 4 Summary: I am starting to get frustrated with Lovelace, Clarissa and Clarissa's friend Anna Howe. For starters, Clarissa has now been gone from her family home for well over a month in the company of a known rake and she still thinks there is a chance that her family will welcome her back into the family and consider her virtuous. Really?!? We are talking about a time when all a woman had was her virtue, and once that was gone... well,... life just gets nasty. As for Lovelace, I have decided the man is the human equivalent of a cat, playfully batting a small mouse between its paws, not hurting the mouse but still capable at any moment to tire of the game and finish the poor rodent off. At least Clarissa is proving to be a bit more wily and resilient than the average mouse young woman, and even manages to lead Lovelace (albeit temporarily) down paths of action he doesn't expect to find himself embarking upon. As for Clarissa pen pal and only confident, Anna is about as helpful as a dish rag most times but I still do not understand why Clarissa did what she did with Anna's offer of assistance, especially if the assistance could have availed Clarissa as a means to escape Lovelace. We also now have a clearer picture of the opinions of various members of Lovelace's family and his closer friends, like Belford.

I can only wonder where Lovelace and his scheming plots will lead to next. If it is going to be anything like what he alluded to in the last letter to Belford, I will be thoroughly disgusted with him. ( )
  lkernagh | May 24, 2016 |
VOLUME 3 Review: A bit of a letdown after the interesting build up in Volume 2. Yes, we now get to see some of the story from 'the rake' Lovelace's point of view, and it is fun to see how well matched Lovelace and Clarissa are when it come to a battle of wits, but still....there were some really, really boring parts here. The story has almost taken on a whole "He said, She said" approach and while there is no really easy way to introduce multiple narrations in an epistolary novel except in the manner utilized here by Richardson, I still feel let down a bit after all the excitement in Volume 2. If I had to place a bet at this point, I would say that there are 10 to 1 odds that Clarissa will slip up first, and in a bigger way than she already has as the drama has now migrated to London, even if Lovelace has made a couple of tactical errors of his own on the 'conquest' front. Really, for a seasoned 'rake' to fumble even slightly is a bit of a revelation in itself. Onwards to Volume 4.... ( )
  lkernagh | Apr 29, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richardson, Samuelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ross, AngusEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I am extremely concerned, my dearest friend, for the disturbances that have happened in your family.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140432159, Paperback)

‘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’.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:19 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Based on the 18th century novel by Samuel Richardson, this is the original tale of fatal attraction and dangerous liasons. A wealthy young heiress, famed for her virtue, is sought by a man wishing to seduce her and destroy her reputation. For the first time in his life he becomes genuinely infatuated with his prey, and sows the seeds of his own fate.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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