Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pamela: Virtue Rewarded (Forgotten Books)” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Pamela: Virtue Rewarded
Samuel Richardson
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pamela: Virtue Rewarded (Forgotten Books)

2.78  ·  Rating details ·  8,282 Ratings  ·  674 Reviews
‘I cannot be patient, I cannot be passive, when my virtue is in danger’

Fifteen-year-old Pamela Andrews, alone and unprotected, is relentlessly pursued by her dead mistress’s son. Although she is attracted to young Mr B., she holds out against his demands and threats of abduction and rape, determined to defend her virginity and abide by her own moral standards. Psychologica
Published (first published 1740)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pamela, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pamela

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Deborah Markus
Creepy 18th-century Guy: Hey, baby. Now that my mom died, I’m your boss now.

Innocent Maidservant: Um, yeah. I know.

CG: But don’t worry. I’ll take reeeeaaaallly good care of you.

IM: ...thanks?

CG: And I’m sure you’ll want to be nice to me right back, if you know what I’m saying. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.

IM: I always try to be nice, sir.

CG: Have I mentioned how hot you are?

IM: Okay, this is getting uncool.

CG: Hey, I’m all rich and powerful and you’re just some little nobody. You should be flattered
Jan 29, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I did not finish this book. Because it is a million pages that boil down to:

PAMELA: I am a lowly maid. Yet my virtue, look at it.
MASTER-OF-THE-HOUSE: Ooh, dazzling. How 'bout you let me avail myself of some of that virtue?

[Insert cross-dressing in-bed-hiding country-house-involving shenanigans.:]

MASTER-OF-THE-HOUSE: Your virtue, it has won me over. Marry me?
PAMELA: But of course.

Ok, the shenanigans make it sound vaguely amusing? Just know that there
When I read classics, it's not all about just reading them. I'm also trying to discover what's made them classics. I want to know why people like them so much. And I can usually figure something out; that's why I end up with so many five star reviews. But this? This piece of shit escapes me.

The first half is entertaining enough, as the vaguely-named Mr. B---- kidnaps a servant and tries to steal her titular virtue. There are dastardly schemes and narrow escapes. He dresses up like a woman in ord
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It saddens me that Goodreads has no love for this book. First of all, it's one of the earliest novels ever written, so it deserves more respect from that perspective alone. Secondly, you have to place it in its time. Early 18th century readers found this material quite titillating, and of course wanted to see a virtuous end to all the lasciviousness. That way, they could have their cake and eat it, too. For its time, this was really racy material. Naturally nowadays we find the idea of a woman w ...more
Feb 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so busy catching up on all my vacation books that I totally forgot to blog my final thoughts on this 18th century behemoth.

What to say about a book that treats virginity as the most important quality a woman has but is weirdly feminist in the agency and resistance it gives its perky heroine? A book that demonizes a tyrannical master as a would-be rapist and jailer and then turns him into a romantic hero? A book that embraces a cross-class marriage while avowing to preserve the distinction
Patrick Hennessy
read the one thousand plus pages or just the title, which also tells the whole story
Sherwood Smith
Reading this is like watching the invention of literature before your eyes. Richardson began this as yet another work-for-hire series of "conduct letters" of the sort that Madame De La Fayette et al made popular during the 1600s, but the story took off in such a way that it became more like, oh, a reality show that develops into its own story. Richardson developed the narrative "a l'moment" approach, that is, slipping inside the character's skin and reporting on what they were thinking and feeli ...more
Paul  Perry
I encountered Samuel Richardson's Pamela many years ago as part of my History of the Novel module at university. I was introduced to some great works through that course, and there are two reasons I am grateful for being introduced to this; mostly, because it was the first year the class had read Pamela rather than Clarissa (which is more than twice the length), but also because it made it clear to us that even in an academic environment there are books which are considered as classics because o ...more
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Undoubtedly I was far too young to appreciate this when I was assigned it as an undergraduate. I will have to revisit it at some point.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle
  • Amelia
  • Love in Excess
  • The Man of Feeling
  • Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus
  • Julie, or the New Heloise
  • The Female Quixote
  • Camilla
  • Roxana
  • The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works
  • The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia
  • Emmeline
  • A Sentimental Journey
  • Castle Rackrent
  • A Tale of a Tub and Other Works
  • Caleb Williams
  • The Vicar of Wakefield
  • Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
Samuel Richardson was a major English 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).

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 adm
More about Samuel Richardson...
“Be sure don't let people's telling you, you are pretty, puff you up; for you did not make yourself, and so can have no praise due to you for it. It is virtue and goodness only, that make the true beauty.” 19 likes
“I will be a Friend to you, and you shall take care of my Linen” 10 likes
More quotes…