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3.4 out of 5 stars8
3.4 out of 5 stars
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2014
I fear my honour - nay, my virtue - may be taken by happenstance perchance my master should read this epistle, lo he is a good and kindly fine master with many kindnesses to his dear heart: that is when he is not kidnapping me and attempting to take my much-guarded virtue by force. However, he does somewhat suffer from literary diarrhea in that he cannot use but one word when one hundred will suffice. His novel does continue in this vein for an eternity, with endless threats against my virtue and no hope perchance by happenstance of liberty from such distress.
Perchance this may be the only book in christendom which can take three pages purely to describe who sat where with whom at the dining table. Intruth, my master does have a great fear of punctuation and thus his speech does slip into narration into the speech of another - with no indication theretoforthwith. This peculiarity will all be contained within one paragraph, nay page, in which there will be with a complete want of speech marks.
Granted this is a novel of another time but so are the writings of the misses Brontes (supposedly influenced by this detritus!) - yet they managed to create believable plots & narration, not to mention punctuation!
Nevertheless, this novel is not entirely without merit for it has led to much entertainment in our domicile as we favour imitation of his master's verbiage. One would however be most appreciative - nay grateful - if, per happenstance, one could gain back at the end of one's life the interminable hours one has spent reading this nonsensical flotsam and jetsam.
Perchance one should have endured the reading of this atrocity, one should then move on to read 'Shamela' by Mr Henry Fielding. Highly amusing in its mockery!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 10 September 2010
Pamela is one of those books that always has to appear on undergraduate courses on the history of the novel because it was so influential but it is undoubtedly a book which hasn't stood the tests of time well and which is a difficult book for us to read today. Told in epistolary form, it tells the story of Pamela, a servant girl, pursued obsessively by her master who hides in cupboards, gropes her and rapes her until they finally get married...!

So, ok, the story itself might be pretty offensive to us today and the method of telling is frequently repetitive, but it does tell us quite a lot about the culture, gender relations, and role of literature of the time in which it was written. Realism wasn't necessarily what Richardson was aiming for, and neither is the sort of psychological dimension which appears in the C19th alongside the growth of scientific pyschology.

So this is very much a book which you have to take on its own terms - it certainly won't be for everyone but does have a strange kind of vitality and energy of its own.
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on 20 November 2015
Pamela is pretty smart for a 15 year-old. But this is the 18th century and her master has to confine his lust to a quick grope in the greenhouse. She is resourceful - and I enjoyed the story very much. It paints a true picture of life in Richardson's days - despite his readers condemning it as pornography and the author's judicious editing. Recommended for ladies and gents of letters.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2009
The first half of the novel is good. The letter form works well and though the heroine is very wet there's a lot of amusement to be derived from her efforts to stay virtuous. Also some interesting points on the abuse of power between master and servant. Unfortunately the second half goes downhill pretty fast. Once Pamela's situation is resolved there's nowhere to go other than round and round in circles which is very boring. Some fun might be gleaned from wondering just how virtuous/manipulative Pamela actually is, but otherwise this novel doesn't live up to its reputation.
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on 25 June 2015
Great condition and exactly as described
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2014
I realist all the hype that surrounds this, that it is possibly the first novel and so on, but it was an absolute torture. Repetitious, pretentious, and absolutely pointless. Ok, i understand that I must try to have empathy with the age, that Richardson breaks ground by criticizing the aristocracy and mentioning sex so overtly, but this is the 21st century, and notions cannot force me to enjoy a book. Utter crap.
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on 28 June 2015
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2014
Given to a friend called Pamela and she said she is pleased with it.
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