9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A tad verbose,
This review is from: Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I admit that I haven't yet finished "Pamela" and also that I've never been very enthusiastic about the literature of the 18th century. The only reason I'm reading "Pamela" at all is because, while reading the journal of Esther Burr (18th century American and mother of Aaron Burr) she mentions reading both "Pamela" and "Clarissa." She loved "Pamela" and hated "Clarissa" and I want to see if my opinion lines up with hers. (And I also want to see the film version of Clarissa w/ yummy Sean Bean, but want to read the book first.)
I find Pamela's endless lamentations to be quite tedious to read. Until I read the other reviews posted here, I assumed that Richardson was writing ironically and poking fun of Pamela. She says again and again that she'd rather die in a ditch or spend her life dressed in rags, begging than lose her virginity to her master and yet when she finally is left alone and has a key to help her escape from her imprisonment in her master's house, she is afraid of the bull that lives in the pasture and ends up remaining imprisoned. Also, she's quite sly, sneaky and dishonest, despite all her protestations that she remain honest. (Although by "honest" Pamela really means "a virgin.") But perhaps Richardson was sincere in his portrayal of Pamela as a truly virtuous woman.
At any rate, I am not enjoying this novel as much as I'd hoped I would although the scene between Pamela and Lady Davers is highly entertaining. However, Pamela is an extraordinarily prolific letter writer, but at different times throughout the novel she recaps what has already happened at great length. The characters are not very interesting or particularly well-developed. If I had to invite one of them to dinner, I'd pass over the tedious Pamela and the despicable Mr. B, her master and plump for earthy, pragmatic Mrs. Jewkes who is occaisionally entertaining.