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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.[1]

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.


  1. Nuttall Encyclopedia of General Knowledge, article on Pamela originally published in 1907 written by Reverend James Wood