Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded was a novel by Samuel Richardson, published in 1740. From the name of the heroine, it has developed the meaning of a girl of low degree, who resists temptation and reclaims her would-be seducer.
It is an important novel in literary history because it is one of the first examples of the epistolary form. Although somewhat turgid and less than realistic to the casual reader, it offers a valuable insight into the way women were perceived and expected to behave during the eighteenth century.
- Nuttall Encyclopedia of General Knowledge, article on Pamela originally published in 1907 written by Reverend James Wood