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Encyclopedia > Samuel Richardson

Samuel Richardson (August 19, 1689July 4, 1761) was a major 18th century writer best known for his three epistolary novels: Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded (1740), Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady (1748) and Sir Charles Grandison (1753). August 19 is the 231st day of the year (232nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Events Louis XIV of France passed the Code Noir, allowing the full use of slaves in the French colonies. ... July 4 is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 180 days remaining. ... 1761 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... The term writer can apply to anyone who creates a written work, but the word more usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. ... Titlepage of Aphra Behns Love-Letters (1684) An epistolary novel is written as a series of documents. ... Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded is an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, first published in 1740. ... Events May 31 - Friedrich II comes to power in Prussia upon the death of his father, Friedrich Wilhelm I. October 20 - Maria Theresia of Austria inherits the Habsburg hereditary dominions (Austria, Bohemia, Hungary and present-day Belgium). ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Events April 24 - A congress assembles at Aix-la-Chapelle with the intent to conclude the struggle known as the War of Austrian Succession - at October 18 - The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle is signed to end the war Adam Smith begins to deliver public lectures in Edinburgh Building of... The History of Sir Charles Grandison (1753) is a novel by Samuel Richardson Sir Charles Grandison, Volume 4 (of 7) at Gutenberg Entry in the Literary Encyclopedia Categories: Literature stubs | English novels ... 1753 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ...


Richardson had been an established printer and publisher for most of his life when, at the age of 51, he wrote his first novel — and immediately became one of the most popular and admired writers of his time. A printer can be: Someone who operates a printing press, and prints books. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... Daniel Defoes Robinson Crusoe; title page of 1719 newspaper edition A novel (from French nouvelle, new) is an extended fictional narrative in prose. ...

Contents


Early life

Richardson was born in 1689 in Mackworth, Derbyshire. His mother, Elizabeth, was a woman “not ungenteel” and his father (another Samuel) was a joiner from Surrey, described by his son as “of middling note." As a boy apprenticed in a printer’s shop, this author earned the nickname “Gravity” and “Serious,” apropos of his later novels. At the age of seventeen, in 1706, Richardson was forced to begin a seven-year apprenticeship under John Wilde as a printer, an employment that Richardson felt would “gratify my thirst for reading”. By 1715, he had become a freeman of the Stationer's Company and citizen of London, and six or seven years after the expiration of his apprenticeship set up his own business as a printer, eventually settling in Salisbury Court. Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England, and boasts some of Englands most attractive scenery. ...


Marriage and Children

In 1721 Richardson married Martha Wilde, the daughter of his former employer. His wife died on 23rd January 1731, following the deaths of five of their six children. The last child survived its mother by only two years. In 1733, following the death of this child, Richardson remarried. His second wife Elizabeth was also a daughter of a former employer, John Leake. Together they had six children (five daughters and one son). Four of their daughters reached adulthood and survived their father.


First Publication

In 1733 he wrote The Apprentice’s Vade Mecum, urging young men like himself to be diligent and self-denying. Written in response to the “epidemick Evils of the present Age”, the text is best known for its condemnation of popular forms of entertainment including theatres, taverns and gambling. The manual targets the apprentice as the focal point for the moral improvement of society, not because he is most susceptible to vice, but because, Richardson suggests, he is more responsive to moral improvement than his social betters.


Publication of Pamela

Pamela describes "virtue" in an 18th-century way that is foreign to our times. Pamela Andrews is a young maidservant in a wealthy household. The son of the household, Mr B., conceives a passion for her and repeatedly schemes with his servants to have his way with her. She protects her virtue successfully and B., moved in her favour when he reads the journal she has been keeping in secret, is forced to propose to her if he is to have her. As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800 in the Gregorian calendar. ... A journal (through French from late Latin diurnalis, daily) is a daily record of events or business. ...


The popularity of Pamela was mainly due to the effective technique of [sucking on long penises] (I think something else should be written here) through letters written by the protagonist. Because this was combined with the moralistic nature of the story, which made it acceptable for the century's rapidly growing middle class, the book became a publishing sensation. The epistolary form was an innovation that was a source of great pride for Richardson. Pamela thus helped reinvent a literary genre that had developed a very questionable reputation. Nevertheless, many contemporary readers were shocked by the more graphic scenes and by some questionable behaviours of the characters; it was easy to regard Pamela, for example, as a scheming young woman trying to gain higher social status by making a nobleman marry her. Henry Fielding parodied Pamela twice: once anonymously using the same epistolary form in Shamela, and again with Joseph Andrews, which tells the story of Pamela's brother Joseph and his efforts to protect his virtue. Henry Fielding (April 22, 2025 – October 8, 1754) was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy humor and satirical prowess and as the author of the novel Tom Jones. ... In contemporary usage, parody is a form of satire that imitates another work of art in order to ridicule it. ... An Apology for the Life of Mrs. ... Joseph Andrews is a novel by Henry Fielding, first published in 1742. ...


Other works

Richardson also wrote two later epistolary novels, Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady (1748) and Sir Charles Grandison (1753). Of the three, Clarissa has generally been the most highly regarded by critics; in it, Richardson uses the epistolary form with great effectiveness, creating characters that are psychologically convincing while reflecting on some of the most important moral questions of the 18th century. (See Clarissa for a summary of the novel.) This article needs to be wikified. ...


Sir Charles Grandison is Richardson's attempt to create a male model of virtue. Many modern critics have found that he was less successful here, noting that Sir Charles is not a very interesting or sympathetic character and that his confident sense of virtue can be cloying to the modern reader. In addition, the plot is relatively less eventful and the moral lessons less ambiguous than in Clarissa. However, in its own time Sir Charles Grandison was again a success (and was one of Jane Austen's favorite novels).


Richardson was widely considered one of the most important novelists of his age, influencing writers such as Jane Austen, Goethe, and Rousseau. Jane Austen, in a portrait based on one drawn by her sister Cassandra Jane Austen (December 16, 1775 – July 18, 1817) was an English novelist whose work is considered part of the Western canon. ... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (pronounced [gø tə]) (August 28, 1749–March 22, 1832) was a German writer, politician, humanist, scientist, and philosopher. ... Jean-Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712 – July 2, 1778) was a Franco-Swiss philosopher of the Enlightenment whose political ideas influenced the French Revolution, the development of socialist theory, and the growth of nationalism. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Samuel Richardson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (836 words)
Richardson had been an established printer and publisher for most of his life when, at the age of 51, he wrote his first novel — and immediately became one of the most popular and admired writers of his time.
Richardson was born in 1689 in Mackworth, Derbyshire.
Richardson was widely considered one of the most important novelists of his age, influencing writers such as Jane Austen, Goethe, and Rousseau.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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