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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 listeners say about Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded

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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.

12 people found this helpful

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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!

7 people found this helpful

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Insufferable, Exhausting Morality Tale

You will know pretty quickly if this book is for you. It has its excellences, but the prose is overly ornamental, and so are the characters.

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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.

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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

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  • mr
  • 07-29-22

E arly novel by Samuel Richardson.

The style takes getting used to, and the reader will have to pay close attention. I did have a great deal of trouble understanding the reader.

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She stoops too much

This edition by naxos is the best recording of Pamela on the net. Claire Corbett, who plays superchaste babe and teenage Pamela, captures the various emotions elicited by this pious vixen in undress. The full cast of diverse voices makes for a next level listening experience, so there is not need to shop around. Besides, i do not think there is another edition available on the audible platform.

Regarding the novel, itself, i did not expect Pamela to be as raunchy as it was. The heroine spends half of the novel on her knees (circa 50 times) getting called a slut by Mr Bigg (circa 11 times). When Mr Bigg's superbitch sister asks if Pamela has "been whored yet" i knew it was time to put the earphones in!

It is also much shorter than Clarissa, which is on audible and much more expensive, repetitive, and ridiculous.

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Such a confused girl

Oh wretched Pamela, are you trying to set up Richardson's next book, Clarissa? Would that you could have been presentient enough to know of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Just one piece of cutlery is all it would take. It was almost too painful to go on: the perfidy of genteel English! By chapter 87, I was screaming in my head "Stockholm syndrome!" But Richardson did not heed any of my plot suggestions (saving them for Clarissa), and the story turns another direction. For the rest of the story, it is female English gentry who display their disdain for lower life forms (people like me). In want of a contrast, I read Madame Bovary next. I do want to read the parodies of Pamela by those nearer to Richardson's time, despite the fact some ideals in this book have positive value.

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I didn't want the story to end

you start out happy the sad then upset and then do many things start happening. it's a very good story.

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Profile Image for David Denison
  • David Denison
  • 02-26-19

Triumphant lesson of Christian morality

Highly relevant in a world of declining social morality. Recommended to all parents and people responsible for educating our children.