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Publisher's Summary

Samuel Richardson's epistolary novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, published in 1740, tells the story of a young woman's resistance to the desires of her predatory master. Pamela is determined to protect her virginity and remain a paragon of virtue; however, the heroine's moral principles only strengthen the resolve of Mr. B and Pamela soon finds herself imprisoned against her will. The young woman's affection for her captor gradually grows and she becomes aware of a love that combines eros and agape.

Richardson's classic novel created a sensation upon its publication: the novel's radical departure from the traditional comic plot violated convention and its portrayal of a young female servant daring to assert herself proved to be even more controversial. Clare Corbett and cast read from the original, unrevised text that left an indelible mark on the conscience of an entire nation.

Public Domain (P)2013 Naxos AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Johanna
  • CHICAGO, IL, United States
  • 12-23-15

Six hours too long

I love classic books, but I had a rough time with Pamela. I've always wanted to read it, and I'm ultimately glad I slogged through. However, be prepared for it to go on, and on, and on. The plot leaves something to be desired.

The modern woman revolts at Pamela's big "reward." Therefore, you'll have to try hard to appreciate this book in it's historical context.

I highly recommend reading Shamela by Henry Fielding for dessert!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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The one, the only, Pamela!

Where does Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Number 1!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded?

The turning point of this massive comic novel novel is when Mr. B. morphs from lascivious villain into romantic hero. (If you know Richardson, it's when he transforms from Lovelace into Sir Charles Grandison.) But the most memorable aspect of the novel itself is Pamela's transformation from potential victim to powerful Sheherazade, enrapturing her would-be seducer with the art and charm of her writing, which opens a window into her fine character and witty mind. Before we are done, not only Mr. B., but his sister (in herself a fascinating character) are breathlessly awaiting new installments of Pamela's story in letters, as a rarified form of entertainment. This was the first really great age of novels and compulsive letter writing, and Pamela reflects these cultural trends exquisitely. In addition, the dialog is as good as a play.

Have you listened to any of Clare Corbett and Full Cast ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. But I will happily buy her reading other classics as they appear. She was superb.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The whole book is moving, entertaining, instructive and fun. It's a slice of 18th century life, complete with descriptions of what they ate, wore, how they recreated, what they read, how they conducted their social rituals, and most importantly, how they spoke. It's a valentine to the elegance and precision of the English language.

Any additional comments?

Unless you adore 18th century novels and have read quite a few, the groundbreaking qualities of this one won't be apparent. There's a reason why ministers across England preached against this naughty and subversive book, that suggested the possibility of upward social mobility through marriage with the gentry, and thus infuriated so many. The flirtatious and sly eroticism of the book is amply counterbalanced by religious and ethical lessons and codes of proper behavior, effectively shielding Richardson from the accusation of corruptor of public morals.

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Very interesting read!

This was a very good book! Interesting. Never have I ever read something as different as this story. Definitely recommend.

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Interesting but not exciting

The reader does a good job to make a rather repetitive text engaging. The text itself is interesting from a historical perspective but not much else

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Yawn.

I would recommend reading up until the part where there is a marriage that occurs, but then stop. The majority of the book is a daily listing of everything that happens, and what passes for plot or purpose ends at the aforementioned event. The rest is a didactic pies designed to teach comportment for all situations, and it drags on and on and on and really has no use in modern times. This was quite a let down. Other books from a similar time period have been much more interesting than this one.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anfisa
  • 03-21-16

I feel sorry for the narrator

Bless Clare Corbett, she is a wonderful narrator, but she has precious little to work with.

Pamela has barely enough plot or substance for a short story, but Richardson managed to stretch this out to a 600-page behemoth. The format of the novel - a series of letters from Pamela to her parents - seems interesting at first, but becomes unbearable when Richardson wants to impart some moral lesson on the reader (which is very often). As our narrator is a teenage girl of limited life experience, every time 'lofty' ideas are introduced Pamela first has a discussion with some wiser character and then draws up a convoluted bullet-point list of what it means to be a good wife, for example. Even with allowances for a different age and style, this is just dreadful writing.

The storyline itself is appalling. Pamela is subjected to physical and mental torture, including attempted rape, but her go-to response is to pray for everyone and (SPOILER) she marries her sadistic captor in the end, so that's all good, I guess.

Clare Corbett is a joy. She attempts to inject as much emotion and character as possible into a series of very similar and repetitive scenes and I wouldn't have made it to the end without her.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Elliott
  • 10-30-17

Fantastic.

A fabulous reading of a highly historically significant book which can be a difficult read due to its length. Highly recommended.