Crying “Uncle!”

Alternatively titled, how Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded defeated me.

Dear Pamela,

I would love to tell you that I finished reading through the packet of letters that you oh-so-carefully hid from Mr. B and that wicked creature, Mrs. Jewkes. After all, you were so kind as to inform me of your abduction and the numerous threats to your virtue in such excruciating detail, that I feel I treated you rather shamefully when I threw the volume across the room last night. I have no excuse, except that I hardly knew myself at the time. When I went to retrieve the book I had, unfortunately, lost my place, but you were so obliging as to provide me with a summary of everything you had written to that point [and to do so repeatedly! How wonderful of you!] that I hardly noticed the fact that I had missed several pages.

I do hope you won’t be too upset when you discover that I have moved on, my dear, to greener pastures, so to speak. An old friend, Tom Jones, has been calling out to me for some time, and, as his virtue is hardly as dear to him as yours is to you, I hope you won’t mind if I should chance to meet with him instead? Yes, he is something of a rogue, but then, you see, rogues are infinitely more interesting to me than young servant girls with an unwholesome obsession with their own honour. I do realize that you have an important place in English literature, and I shall remain forever indebted to you for repeatedly drumming into my head the importance of your scribbling. However, I must not tarry, for I have other works to read and my own writing to do. I shall miss your detailed descriptions, your randomly-placed italics, and your ever-ready tears. You have won out, dear Pamela, and although I shall no longer be reading of your mishaps and adventures, I hope that I shall always remain,

your most dutiful (if distant and unrewarded) friend,

Loose Baggy Monster


8 responses to this post.

  1. Funny! I love Pamela, but I can certainly see how she’d get tiresome and that you’d want to run into the arms of Tom Jones instead 🙂


  2. Dorothy: I’m quite bummed actually, because I really wanted to love this book. I have a feeling that this wasn’t the right time for me to be reading it. Hopefully I’ll return to it this summer!


  3. Ahh yes. I haven’t even tried. A good friend of mine wrote his thesis on dear Pamela. God help him.


  4. Andi: I think that’s the biggest bummer for me. Usually when a book doesn’t work for me, I can at least kick into analytical mode and make something happen. But it just didn’t come around this time. I hope your friend had/has better luck!


  5. But you put it so elegantly, how could Richardson — er, Pamela — be upset about your defection?


  6. Posted by Queen Mother on April 3, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I cannot keep up with the Blog changes. However, since I love the color blue I do like it. Perhaps I should wax on as it appears poor Pamela does though???


  7. Brilliant post, I’ve never summed up the courage for Pamela as I fear I’d have the same reaction. Have you read Henry Fielding’s satire of it, Shamela? It’s very funny and quite wicked.


  8. Richardson vs Fielding is analogous to Beatles vs Stones.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: