Book reviews

Pamela by Samuel Richardson is written in letters and in diary entries. I very quickly became bored with this slowly-told story but accept that it was probably considered to be very entertaining by readers in 1740.

To sum up, pages 1 to 50:

Dear Mother and Father,

I am fifteen years-old, very pretty and everyone loves me.

My lady has died and I was to go to live with Lady Davers to be her maid except that Mr B, my master won’t let me go. Instead, Mr B keeps trying to kiss me but I won’t let him because I’m a good girl.

I pray for Mr B even though he hides in the closet to watch me undress.

Love, Pamela.

Pages 50 to 100:

Dear Diary,

I am writing to you instead of to Mother and Father because Mr B said he would send me home where I would be safe from him but instead he kidnapped me and had me taken to one of his distant estates to be looked after by Mrs Jewkes who is horrible and ugly.

Mr B is not here and I am still a good girl.

Love, Pamela.

Pages 100 to 200:

Dear Diary,

Mrs Jewkes hit me, AND she tricked me out of all of my money so that I can’t escape.

Mr Williams, the clergyman, is going to ask all the most important people in the district if they will intervene on my behalf.

Mr B continues to stay away, and I continue to be a good girl.

Love, Pamela.

At this point, I decided life was too short for me to continue reading Pamela. I skimmed to the end and was horrified (although not terribly surprised) to learn that Mr B had supposedly reformed and that he and Pamela had married.

The following is my idea of what probably happened next:

Dear Mother and Father,

Mr B seems to have lost interest in me.

We have a new maid. She is very young and pretty.

Love, Pamela (Mrs B)

Pamela was book thirty nine in my Classics Club challenge to read 50 classics before my challenge end date of August 26, 2023.

Comments on: "Pamela by Samuel Richardson" (11)

  1. I don’t blame you for skipping through most of this one. I guess an ending like that isn’t uncommon for the time, but still…. It’s a bit creepy. (I don’t think I could have undressed knowing someone was spying!)

    • I’ve always struggled with not finishing books, but it was such a relief not to continue reading Pamela.
      And yes, Mr B’s behaviour was definitely creepy.

  2. Brilliant! 😄

  3. She married him???? Good grief!! Hahaha, I loved your review in letters – I suspect you’re right about what would have happened next. Hopefully the new maid will be a good girl, though… 😂

  4. Yuck! Your synopsis letters are hilarious though!

    • Yes, the story really was horrible.
      Even worse, I’ve just realised that the plot of Pamela is the type of best-seller which never goes out of fashion as there are always readers wanting to be titillated.

  5. Haha, that was the best review, I’ve read in a while – love the last letter in particular!

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