Samuel Richardson’s Pamela

The Pamela collection was generously donated by the family of Peter Young, a long-standing Friend of the Library. This was Peter’s personal collection, which he amassed over twenty years during his career as a rare books dealer.

Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, (first published 1740/1), is a moralising story in epistolary form and part of the genre of conduct literature. It is thought to be one of the first English novels.

Richardson continued to re-write it throughout his life because it was seen as scandalous (it is about a young maidservant being pursued by her older employer and eventually marrying him across class barriers).

The collection includes foreign language editions, dramatic adaptations, responses and parodies (some extremely rare), six prints and a portrait miniature. It is thought to be the largest and most complete collection of Pamela, and we hope that it will attract scholars from around the world.

Maldon, Essex, England

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