In my research, I am going to talk about the poet Samuel Richardson, his Age the (18th century), early life, and about his most and popular works in his life. and many other works. I will talk in details about his novels.
Then, I will discuss one of his famous works which called: Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded and the analysis and the plot of this novel.
The Eighteenth Century
The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar.
However, Western historians may sometimes specifically define the 18th century otherwise for the purposes of their work. For example, the “short” 18th century may be defined as 1715–1789, denoting the period of time between the death of Louis XIV of France and the start of the French Revolution with an emphasis on directly interconnected events.
To historians who expand the century to include larger historical movements, the “long” 18th century  may run from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the battle of Waterloo in 1815 or even later.
During the 18th century, the Enlightenment culminated in the French, Haitian and American revolutions. Philosophy and science increased in prominence. Philosophers were dreaming about a better age without the Christian fundamentalism of earlier centuries. This dream turned into a reality with the French Revolution, although it was later compromised by excess of the terror of Maximilien Robespierre. At first, the monarchies of Europe embraced enlightenment ideals, but with the French revolution they feared losing their power and joined wide coalitions with the counter-revolution.
The Ottoman Empire was undergoing a protracted decline, as it failed to keep up with the technological advances in Europe. The Tulip period symbolized a period of peace and reorientation towards European society, after victory against a burgeoning Russia in 1711. Throughout the century various reforms were introduced with limited success.
Great Britain became a major power worldwide with the defeat of France in the Americas in the 1760s and the conquest of large parts of India. However, Britain lost much of its North American colonies after the American Revolution. The industrial revolution started in Britain around the 1750s with the patenting of the steam engine. Despite its modest beginnings in the 18th century, it would radically change human society and the geology of the surface of the earth.
(19 August 1689 – 4 July 1761) was an 18th-century English writer and printer. He is best known for his three epistolary novels: Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded (1740), Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady (1748) and The History of Sir Charles Grandison (1753). Richardson was an established printer and publisher for most of his life and printed almost 500 different works, with journals and magazines.
Richardson lost his first wife along with their five sons, and eventually remarried. Although with his second wife he had four daughters who lived to become adults, they had no male heir to continue running the printing business. While his print shop slowly ran down, at the age of 51 he wrote his first novel and immediately became one of the most popular and admired writers of his time.
He knew leading figures in 18th century England, including Samuel Johnson and Sarah Fielding. In the London literary world, he was a rival of Henry Fielding, and the two responded to each other’s literary styles in their own novels.
Richardson, one of nine children, was probably born in 1689 in Mackworth, Derbyshire, to Samuel and Elizabeth Richardson. It is unsure where in Derbyshire he was born because Richardson always concealed the location. The older Richardson was, according to the younger:
“a very honest man, descended of a family of middling note, in the country of Surrey, but which having for several generations a large number of children, the not large possessions were split and divided, so that he and his brothers were put to trades; and the sisters were married to tradesmen.”
His mother, according to Richardson, “was also a good woman, of a family not ungenteel; but whose father and mother died in her infancy, within half-an-hour of each other, in the London pestilence of 1665”.
The trade his father pursued was that of a joiner (a type of carpenter, but Richardson explains that it was “then more distinct from that of a carpenter than now it is with us”). In describing his father’s occupation, Richardson stated that “he was a good draughtsman and understood architecture”, and it was suggested by Samuel Richardson’s son-in-law that the senior Richardson was a cabinetmaker and an exporter of mahogany while working at Aldersgate-street. The abilities and position of his father brought him to the attention of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth. However this, as Richardson claims, was to Richardson senior’s “great detriment” because of the failure of the Monmouth Rebellion, which ended in the death of Scott in 1685. After Scott’s death, the elder Richardson was forced to abandon his business in London and live a modest life in Derbyshire
The Richardsons were not constantly exiled from London; they eventually returned, and the young Richardson was educated at Christ’s Hospital grammar school. The extent that he was educated at the school is uncertain, and Leigh Hunt wrote years later:
“It is a fact not generally known that Richardson… received what education he had (which was very little, and did not go beyond English) at Christ’s Hospital. It may be wondered how he could come no better taught from a school which had sent forth so many good scholars; but in his time, and indeed till very lately, that foundation was divided into several schools, none of which partook of the lessons of the others; and Richardson, agreeably to his father’s intention of bringing him up to trade, was most probably confined to the writing school, where all that was taught was writing and arithmetic.”
However, this conflicts with Richardson’s nephew’s account that “‘it is certain that [Richardson] was never sent to a more respectable seminary’ than ‘a private grammar school” located in
Little is known of Richardson’s early years beyond the few things that Richardson was willing to share. Although he was not forthcoming with specific events and incidents, he did talk about the origins of his writing ability; Richardson would tell stories to his friends and spent his youth constantly writing letters. One such letter, written when Richardson was almost 11, was directed to a woman in her 50s who was in the habit of constantly criticizing others. “Assuming the style and address of a person in years”, Richardson cautioned her about her actions. However, his handwriting was used to determine that it was his work, and the woman complained to his mother. The result was, as he explains, that “my mother chid me for the freedom taken by such a boy with a woman of her years” but also “commended my principles, though she censured the liberty taken”.
After his writing ability was known, he began to help others in the community write letters. In particular, Richardson, at the age of thirteen, helped many of the girls that he associated with to write responses to various love letters that they received. As Richardson claims, “I have been directed to chide, and even repulse, when an offence was either taken or given, at the very time that the heart of the chider or repulser was open before me, overflowing with esteem and affect”. Although this helped his writing ability, he in 1753 advised the Dutch minister Stinstra not to draw large conclusions from these early actions:
“You think, Sir, you can account from my early secretaryship to young women in my father’s neighbourhood, for the characters I have drawn of the heroines of my three works. But this opportunity did little more for me, at so tender an age, than point, as I may say, or lead my enquiries, as I grew up, into the knowledge of female heart.”
He continued to explain that he did not fully understand females until writing Clarissa, and these letters were only a beginning.
In his final years, Richardson received visits from Archbishop Secker, other important political figures, and many London writers. By that time, he enjoyed a high social position and was Master of the Stationers’ Company. In early November 1754, Richardson and his family moved from the Grange to a home at Parson’s Green. It was during this time that Richardson received a letter from Samuel Johnson asking for money to pay for a debt that Johnson was unable to afford. On 16 March 1756, Richardson responded with more than enough money, and their friendship was certain by this time.
At the same time as he was associating with important figures of the day, Richardson’s career as a novelist drew to a close. Grandison was his final novel, and he stopped writing fiction afterwards. However, he was continually prompted by various friends and admirers to continue to write along with suggested topics. Richardson did not like any of the topics, and chose to spend all of his time composing letters to his friends and associates. The only major work that Richardson would write would be A Collection of the Moral and Instruction Sentiments, Maxims, Cautions, and Reflexions, contained in the Histories of Pamela, Clarissa, and Sir Charles Grandison. Although it is possible that this work was inspired by Johnson asking for an “index rerum” for Richardson’s novels, the Collection contains more of a focus on “moral and instructive” lessons than the index that Johnson was seeking.
After June 1758, Richardson began to suffer from insomnia, and in June 1761, he was afflicted with apoplexy. This moment was described by his friend, Miss Talbot, on 2 July 1761:
“Poor Mr. Richardson was seized on Sunday evening with a most severe paralytic stroke…. It sits pleasantly upon my mind, that the last morning we spent together was particularly friendly, and quiet, and comfortable. It was the 28th of May – he looked then so well! One has long apprehended some stroke of this kind; the disease made its gradual approaches by that heaviness which clouded the cheerfulness of his conversation, that used to be so lively and so instructive; by the encreased tremblings which unfitted that hand so peculiarly formed to guide the pen; and by, perhaps, the querulousness of temper, most certainly not natural to so sweet and so enlarged a mind, which you and I have lately lamented, as making his family at times not so comfortable as his principles, his study, and his delight to diffuse happiness, wherever he could, would otherwise have done”
Two days later, on 4 July 1761, Richardson died at Parson’s Green and was buried at St. Bride’s church near his first wife Martha.
During Richardson’s life, his printing press produced about 2,349 items. He wanted to keep the press in his family, but after the death of his four sons and a nephew, his printing press would be left in his will to his only surviving male heir, a second nephew. This happened to be a nephew that Richardson did not trust; he doubted the younger man’s abilities as a printer. Richardson’s fears proved well-founded, for after his death the press stopped producing quality works and eventually stopped printing all together. Richardson owned copyrights to most of his works, and these were sold after his death. They were sold in twenty-fourth shares, with shares in Clarissa bringing in 25 pounds each and those for Grandison bringing in 20 pounds each. Shares in Pamela, sold in sixteenths, went for 18 pounds each.
Biography of Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)
Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded
This article is about the novel. “Pamela” redirects here. For the name, see Pamela (name). For other uses, see Pamela (disambiguation).
Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded is an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, first published in 1740. It tells the story of a beautiful but poor 15-year old servant-maid named Pamela Andrews whose master, Mr. B, a nobleman, makes unwanted advances towards her after the death of his mother whose maid she was since the age of 12. Mr. B is infatuated with her, first by her looks and then her innocence and intelligence but his high rank hinders him from proposing marriage. He abducts her and locks her up in one of his estates and attempts to seduce and ravish her. She rejects him continually refusing to be his mistress though she begins to realize that she is falling in love with him. He intercepts and reads her letters to her parents and becomes even more enamored by her innocence and intelligence and her continuous attempts to escape. Her virtue is eventually rewarded when he shows his sincerity by proposing an equitable marriage to her as his legal wife. In the second part of the novel, Pamela attempts to accommodate herself to upper-class society and to build a successful relationship with him. The story was a bestseller of its time and was very widely read, even though it also received criticism for its perceived licentiousness.
Lady Davers accepts Pamela. Mr. B explains to Pamela what he expects of his wife. They go back to Bedfordshire. Pamela rewards the good servants with money and forgives John, who betrayed her. They make a little “Airing” to a farmhouse and encounter Miss Goodwin, Mr. B’s child. Pamela would like to take her with them. They learn that Sally Godfrey is now happily married in Jamaica. Pamela is praised by the gentry of the neighbourhood who once despised her.
A publication, Memoirs of Lady H__, the Celebrated Pamela (1741), claims that the inspiration for Richardson’s Pamela is the true life marriage of a coachman’s daughter, Hannah Sturges, to the baronet, Sir Arthur Hesilridge in 1725. Samuel Richardson claims that the story was based on a true incident related to him by a friend about 25 years ago but did not identify who the protagonists were.
Literary significance and criticism
Pamela was the bestseller of its time. It was read by countless buyers of the novel and was also read aloud in groups. An anecdote which has been repeated in varying forms since 1777 described the novel’s reception in an English village: “The blacksmith of the village had got hold of Richardson’s novel of Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, and used to read it aloud in the long summer evenings, seated on his anvil, and never failed to have a large and attentive audience….At length, when the happy turn of fortune arrived, which brings the hero and heroine together, and sets them living long and happily…the congregation were so delighted as to raise a great shout, and procuring the church keys, actually set the parish bells ringing.”
The novel was also integrated into sermons as an exemplar. It was even an early “multimedia” event, producing Pamela-themed cultural artifacts such as prints, paintings, waxworks, a fan, and a set of playing cards decorated with lines from Richardson’s works.
Given the lax copyright laws at the time, many “unofficial” sequels were written and published without Richardson’s consent. There were also several satires of the novel, the most famous of which was An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews by Henry Fielding, published under the pseudonym “Mr. Conny Keyber.” Shamela portrays the protagonist as an amoral social climber, who attempts to seduce “Squire Booby” while feigning innocence in order to manipulate him into marrying her. Another important satire was The Anti-Pamela; or Feign’d Innocence Detected (1741) by Eliza Haywood. Although not technically a satire, the Marquis de Sade‘s Justine is generally perceived as a critical response to Pamela, due in part to the former’s subtitle, “The Misfortunes of Virtue.”
At least one modern critic has stated that the rash of satires can be viewed as a conservative reaction to a novel that called class, social and gender roles into question by asserting that domestic order can be determined not only by socio-economic status but also by moral qualities of mind.
In my research, I chose to talk about Samuel Richardson for many reasons, He is a famous poet, whose fame has circled the globe for centuries, He wrote many poems, plays, and stories, His works affected on people and spirit them to interest in literature. Finally I hope you get benefits from this research and I hope also to provide you all information that help you for now and help you in the future.
1- Introduction ………………………………………………………………………….1
2- The eighteenth century ………………………………………………………….2-3
3- Samuel Richardson………………………………………………………………..3-4
4- Early life………………………………………………………………………………….4-5
5- Death ………………………………………………………………………………………6-7
6- Biography of Samuel Richardson……………………………………………..8
7- Plot summary……………………………………………………………………………9
8- Original sources…………………………………………………………………………9
9- Literary significance and criticism reception………………………………9-10