Plot summary[ edit ] Clarissa Harlowe, the tragic heroine of Clarissa, is a beautiful and virtuous young lady whose family has become wealthy only recently and now desires to become part of the aristocracy. Their original plan was to concentrate the wealth and lands of the Harlowes into the possession of Clarissa's brother James Harlowe, whose wealth and political power will lead to his being granted a title. Clarissa's grandfather leaves her a substantial piece of property upon his death, and a new route to the nobility opens through Clarissa's marrying Robert Lovelace, heir to an earldom.
Country estate of wealthy English gentry, near the village of St. Albans, to the northwest of London, it is presided over by a tyrannical patriarch, and its gardens are enclosed by an iron gate. It represents an Eden from which the heroine is lured by the satanic Lovelace into disobeying her father.
Eventually, she is tricked by Lovelace into opening the gate and is abducted by him in the fatal error that begins her tragedy. The Harlowe home should offer a haven from the world for Clarissa, but it is so fraught with conflict that it becomes her first site of persecution when her siblings turn against her in jealousy, and her father tries to force her to marry a wealthy but odious man.
The first stop after Lovelace abducts Clarissa in a coach. Lovelace pretends that they are brother and sister and makes up a story to explain why Clarissa has no luggage and is angry at him. Lovelace gives Clarissa a choice of places to go, recommending London, ironically, for the privacy it can offer her.
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Unlock This Study Guide Now Start your hour free trial to unlock this page Clarissa study guide and get instant access to the following:Key Facts. full title · Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady. author · Samuel Richardson. type of work · Novel.
genre · Epistolary, realist, psychological. language · English. time and place written · s, London. date of first publication · – (7 serial volumes).
publisher · Samuel Richardson. narrator · initiativeblog.com plot is presented in a series of letters written by. Keywords: Samuel Richardson, narrative, epistolary novel, free indirect discourse, sentimental, Pamela, Clarissa, Sir Charles Grandison John Dussinger John Dussinger is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
A fter Pilgrim's Progress and Robinson Crusoe, the next landmark in English fiction is a towering monument of approximately , words, Clarissa, the longest novel in the English canon.
Provides lively, informative, and authoritative discussion of themes and imagery in Clarissa. The source of much sympathetic interpretation of Clarissa and Richardson’s other novels.
Goldberg, Rita. Clarissa, in full Clarissa; or, The History of a Young Lady, epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, published in – Among the longest English novels ever written (more than a million words), the book has secured a place in literary history for its tremendous psychological insight.
Samuel Richardson was the first writer to produce a true bestseller in the modern sense. Watch our lesson to learn about 'Pamela,' his groundbreaking epistolary novel.