Samuel Richardson's Revisions to Pamela (1740, 1801)

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The edition of Pamela a person reads will affect his or her perception of Pamela's ascent into aristocratic society. Richardson's revisions to the fourteenth edition of Pamela, published posthumously in 1801, change Pamela's character from the 1740 first edition in such a way as to make her social climb more believable to readers outside the novel and to "readers" inside the novel. Pamela alters her language, her actions, and her role in the household by the end of the first edition; in the fourteenth edition, however, she changes in little more than her title. Pamela might begin as a novel ... continued below

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Bender, Ashley Brookner August 2004.

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  • Bender, Ashley Brookner

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The edition of Pamela a person reads will affect his or her perception of Pamela's ascent into aristocratic society. Richardson's revisions to the fourteenth edition of Pamela, published posthumously in 1801, change Pamela's character from the 1740 first edition in such a way as to make her social climb more believable to readers outside the novel and to "readers" inside the novel. Pamela alters her language, her actions, and her role in the household by the end of the first edition; in the fourteenth edition, however, she changes in little more than her title. Pamela might begin as a novel that threatens the fabric of class hierarchies, but it ends-both within the plot and externally throughout its many editions-as a novel that stabilizes and strengthens social norms.

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  • August 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 3:29 p.m.

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  • Jan. 21, 2014, 2:20 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Bender, Ashley Brookner. Samuel Richardson's Revisions to Pamela (1740, 1801), thesis, August 2004; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4638/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .