Monday, November 26, 2012

Clarissa by Samuel Richardson - The End!

Throughout 2012 I've been participating in the year long group read of Clarissa hosted by JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing and Terri @ Tip of the Iceberg .

To say the least, it has been an interesting reading experience and I'd like to thank JoAnn and Terri for providing the incentive to not only attempt this novel but to actually finish it. Without the group commitment I doubt I would have got much further than April.

 First published in 1748, Clarissa is an epistolary novel composed of 537 letters dated from January 10th through to December 18th and the plan was to read the letters around their corresponding dates. By April this proved to be impossible as so many of the letters were undated or arrived days after they were written.

Below are my thoughts from the first part of the year. I stopped writing monthly posts after June through fear of giving away too much of the story and making endless complaints about the boring parts.

Clarissa in January
Clarissa in February
Clarissa in March
Clarissa in April
Clarissa in June

It isn't easy reading but if you can get through the frustrations of all the unnecessary, long-winded rambling and tedious repetition this tragic tale really grabs at the emotions as well as offering an interesting look at 18th century social attitudes.

Tough going but worthwhile in the end!


  1. Congratulations on finishing it! I read it once, twenty years ago, and I don't think I'll ever need to re-read it, though I still have the (massive) book. I liked Sir Charles Grandison much better.

    1. One thing I am sure of - I won't ever be rereading it!

  2. Congratulations! I haven't finished yet but the end is finally in sight and I'm hoping to finish in December. It certainly hasn't been an easy read but I'm glad I didn't abandon it!

    1. Thanks - good to see someone else not giving up. Definitely not an easy read.

  3. Congratulations - what a huge accomplishment!!! I'm feeling very guilty about Clarissa these days, so will finish up a few books and devote the rest of the year to her.

    1. Thanks JoAnn - I must admit to feeling a sense of achievement. I don't think you should feel guilty - you'll finish when the time is right.

  4. Dear Cat,

    I thank you for your kind words about my "Clarssa." I hope it has instructed you on how you may protect your virtue and honor when vile libertines make attempts upon you; and that it has convinced you of the importance of worshiping your parents.

    But I must beg to differ with your description of my "long-winded rambling." In any case,

    I remain your humble servant,