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Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady (Penguin Classics) (original 1747; edition 1986)

by Samuel Richardson, Angus Ross (Editor)

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Member:sailorferrets
Title:Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Samuel Richardson
Other authors:Angus Ross (Editor)
Info:Penguin Classics (1986), Paperback, 1534 pages
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Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson (1747)

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English (27)  French (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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 |
VOLUME 2 Review: Well, this was darned more exciting than Volume 1! the family drama - a bit over the top - has now come to fruition and some nice juicy tidbits are coming to the surface. Clarissa continues to operate a bit like a seesaw - one minute gaining my praise and the next my groans of frustration - and her dear friend Anna Howe is a bit of a mixed blessing when it comes to providing Clarissa with wisdom and words of assistance. As for Clarissa's family, well good grief, who needs a family like them? Seriously, I am not surprised Clarissa is at her wits end trying to get them to see her point of view on the subject of marriage to their chosen (aka Roger Solmes) over the fears of the rake Lovelace. High drama for sure! And as for that "WTF?!" last letter from Clarissa to her Anna - Richardson does know a thing or two about stringing along a reader and throwing them the high drama bone. Me thinks it does not bode well for our fair maiden.... ( )
  lkernagh | Apr 1, 2016 |
VOLUME 1 Review: This dragged a bit at the start. Always a bit of a challenge to get the lay of the land and the characters when a story is in pure epistolary format. Volume 1 provides a good backgrounder in the main characters - Clarissa, her friend Anna Howe, the rake Mr. Robert Lovelace, Clarissa's suitor Mr. Roger Solmes and the menagerie that comprises Clarissa's closest family contacts - her mom/dad, brother/sister, aunt and uncles. A bit over-the-top dramatic at times, especially considering we are dealing with what appears to be on the surface as a disagreement between Clarissa and her family as to her chosen path in life: marriage to Roger Solmes or Clarissa's preferred choice of a independent life. As with any story early one, some information appears to be kind of missing. Overall, an interesting read - if a bit long winded - and I am looking forward to volume 2. ( )
  lkernagh | Apr 1, 2016 |
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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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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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