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Pamela Censured

Pamela Censured (1741) Pamela Censured (1741)

Pamela Censured... Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, 1976. Reprint of the 1741 edition printed for J. Roberts, London.
(SPL) PR 3664 .P4 P3 1976

This work, originally printed in 1741, attacked Samuel Richardson’s popular novel Pamela, which was published in 1740 and took England and the Continent by storm. It inspired parodies, including a humorous one called Shamela attributed to Henry Fielding. Pamela has been called the “first modern novel” by some scholars, injecting “a new note of realism and sincerity” into the genre. In writing Pamela, Richardson claimed to defend decency and virtue - but the writer of Pamela Censured thought the novel accomplished precisely the opposite, using images that served “only to inflame the Mind.”

Richardson sometimes printed and published his own works to prevent losing control to booksellers. He belonged to the Society for the Encouragement of Learning, which was founded in 1736 to print titles that other London publishers wouldn’t take on, and which strove to hold down prices. The society crumbled after 12 years, due to opposition from the profit-oriented members of the book trade.