Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded

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Genres: Banned Books
Language: English
Type: Digital

Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded is an epistolary novel by English writer Samuel Richardson, first published in 1740. It was one of the best-selling novels of the 18th century and is considered to be one of the most influential works of early English fiction.

Plot Summary

The novel tells the story of Pamela Andrews, a young servant girl who is employed by a wealthy gentleman named Mr. B. Mr. B. attempts to seduce Pamela, but she resists his advances and remains virtuous. Mr. B. eventually realizes that he loves Pamela, and he marries her.


Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded explores a wide range of themes, including:

  • The importance of virtue: The novel is a celebration of virtue, and it argues that virtue is always rewarded in the end. Pamela's virtue is her greatest strength, and it is ultimately what saves her from Mr. B.'s advances.

  • The role of women in society: The novel also explores the role of women in society, and it argues that women should be treated with respect and dignity. Pamela is a strong and independent woman, and she refuses to be treated as a second-class citizen.

  • The power of love: The novel also explores the power of love, and it argues that love can overcome all obstacles. Mr. B. and Pamela's love for each other is the foundation of their relationship, and it is ultimately what brings them together.


Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded is a landmark work of literature that has had a profound influence on the development of the novel. It was one of the first novels to be written in an epistolary style, and it is considered to be a precursor to the modern realist novel.

The novel has also been praised for its realism, its psychological insight, and its exploration of moral and social issues. It is also praised for its humor, its wit, and its engaging plot.

Richardson is a towering figure in English literature, and his work continues to be relevant to the world today.

Key Works

  • Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (1740)
  • Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady (1748)
  • The History of Sir Charles Grandison (1753)


  • "The heart is an abyss, and one never knows where it will lead you."
  • "Life is a tragedy when it's felt, a comedy when it's thought."
  • "The more I know, the more I despair."
  • "One does not love with the mind, but with the heart."
  • "I am tired of everything."


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