or, The History of a Young Lady

by Samuel Richardson

Clarissa; or, The History of a Young Lady: Comprehending the Most Important Concerns of Private Life. And Particularly Shewing, the Distresses that May Attend the Misconduct Both of Parents and Children, In Relation to Marriage is an epistolary novel by English writer Samuel Richardson, published in 1748. It tells the tragic story of a young woman, Clarissa Harlowe, whose quest for virtue is continually thwarted by her family. The Harlowes are a recently wealthy family whose preoccupation with increasing their standing in society leads to obsessive control of their daughter, Clarissa. It is considered one of the longest novels in the English language (based on estimated word count). It is generally regarded as Richardson's masterpiece. Clarissa is generally regarded by critics to be among the masterpieces of eighteenth-century European literature. Influential critic Harold Bloom cited it as one of his favourite novels that he "tend[ed] to re-read every year or so". The novel was well-received as it was being released. However, many readers pressured Richardson for a happy ending with a wedding between Clarissa and Lovelace.
In 2015, the BBC ranked Clarissa 14th on its list of the 100 greatest British novels. In 2013 The Guardian included Clarissa among the 100 best novels written in English.
Excerpted from Clarissa on Wikipedia.


person AuthorSamuel Richardson
language CountryBritain
api GenreEpistolary novel, Romances
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book cover-
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description ScansGoogle-digitized
headphones AudioNo Audio
auto_stories Read onlineClarissa I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX