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Clarissa: History of a Young Lady
Clarissa: History of a Young Lady: Easyread Large Edition | Samuel Richardson
5 posts | 1 read | 2 reading
One of the greatest novels of European literature, "Clarissa" is an indisputable masterpiece. Set in 18th-century England. A rich, complex and unique novel written in the form of letters. Richardson delves into the hearts and minds of his characters, their motives and intentions, consequently giving a glimpse of the complex human psyche. A true classic!
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I‘m with Anna on this one - the rope or the sword for Lovelace! I enjoyed the variety of voices this week, and am happy #Clarissa is still free from L‘s clutches. Can it last? Or is Richardson jerking us around?

BookwormM I am liking the variety of voices all except Lovelace glad Clarissa and Anna are back on form again 9mo
Lcsmcat @BookwormM Anna‘s voice is my favorite. ❤️ 9mo
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BarbaraJean Oh. I‘m sure Richardson is jerking us around, whether this escape is a lasting one or not! I was hopeful that there would be some consequences for L when Lady Betty found out his schemes, but that scene with his family was so frustrating. He talks his way around and out of so much. And I am SO tired of the “marrying her will fix everything” narrative. I realize that was an accepted “solution,” but a woman having to marry her rapist is horrifying. 9mo
Lcsmcat @BarbaraJean Yes, that idea of “it‘s not so bad if he just married her” is infuriating, and one of the reasons some men still don‘t see the problem with it. 9mo
Amiable I am fascinated by the various voices who are urging Clarissa to press charges against Lovelace. Going into this I would have guessed that at this time there would be very little (if any) legal recourse for rape. And that very few women would even consider pursuing that path if it were an option because it would make public the news that she was no longer “pure.” I‘m feeling the urge to do a deeper dive into the laws of the early 1700s! 9mo
Lcsmcat @Amiable If you do, please share! I‘m thinking that , since women were chattel, rape was considered a crime against either husband or father. So could she even bring charges herself? I don‘t think she was a legal person at that time. 9mo
Amiable @Lcsmcat And if that's the case, I can't see Mr. Harlowe filing charges from his end. He basically wrote Clarissa off with the attitude of “you disobeyed me, so you get what you deserve.“ I mean, unless he thinks that it would be a way to stick it to Lovelace since the family hates him so much? It certainly wouldn't be on Clarissa's behalf if he did press charges. 9mo
Lcsmcat @Amiable Yeah, that‘s what I was thinking. But I‘m not sure if she could press charges on her own or not. 9mo
Jerdencon @BarbaraJean the scene with Lovelace family made me so mad! I keep waiting for something bad to happen. 9mo
Lcsmcat @Jerdencon @BarbaraJean Do you think Richardson was slamming the upper classes by having L‘s family fall for his nonsense? I found it hard to believe they were so easy on him. Especially the women he had impersonated. 9mo
Jerdencon @Lcsmcat @BarbaraJean my thought is that Richardson thinks so little of women and just the thiught that marriage saved everything but it could very well be a slam against the upper classes too. Who knows with him? 9mo
jewright I was just confused by the whole family scene. What was the point? 9mo
Lcsmcat @jewright What was the point plot-wise? Or what was the point for the family? 9mo
jewright @Lcsmcat I guess both. 9mo
Lcsmcat @jewright I think plot-wise it makes L that much more despicable, while poking the ultra rich for their morals. But I had a harder time with it if I imagined them as real people. My experience has been that people who feel strongly about their own importance would be furious at having been impersonated by someone beneath them and would have attacked L more on that point. 9mo
BarbaraJean @Jerdencon @Lcsmcat I do think there was a critique there for the upper classes—their willingness to let one of their own off the hook. But I also agree that it underlines how slippery L is. He really can talk his way out of anything, and there‘s a stronger critique there. 9mo
BarbaraJean @Lcsmcat I was also really surprised by how easily Lady Betty was talked around. She was furious initially, and I don‘t understand how easily she lets it go. @Jerdencon I wonder about Richardson‘s views on marriage fixing the problem. It seems that‘s how the family comes around, and I‘d have guessed Richardson would think marriage was a reasonable solution. Yet I don‘t think the family comes off well here, so I‘m not sure how to interpret it. 9mo
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So, through all the whining about what Clarissa owes him 😡 we see Lovelace‘s true philosophy- I‘m rich so I can do whatever I want. (Hmm, where else have I heard that recently?) How many awful deaths are _you_ wishing on Lovelace? My list is lengthy. 😏 #clarissa

Currey @Lcsmcat Yes, my imagination works overtime thinking up horrible things to happen to Lovelace. 10mo
BarbaraJean Only one death. But there are many, many other misfortunes that I imagine for him before a horrible end. I want him to be thoroughly shamed and ridiculed, starting with his true character being revealed to Lord M., who will then cut off Lovelace without a cent or a title, and leave it all to Clarissa. Also he needs to catch some horrible, disfiguring disease, that will keep him alive and wasting away for a very long time. 10mo
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Lcsmcat @BarbaraJean I like the way you think. 😈 10mo
jewright I‘m a couple issues behind, but my word, I‘m wondering how long we will stay in this location. 10mo
Lcsmcat @jewright I had that thought too. This whole week‘s set was L whining. 🙄 10mo
Amiable I was wondering if there was a discussion post this week! I‘ve fallen off the tag list… but maybe that‘s a blessing instead of a curse? 😬 😀 That entire letter 36, where the household tries to trick Clarissa into unlocking her door so Lovelace can leap in and rape her again—but she‘s figured out the plot and threatens to kill herself? I was like, hot damn, Richardson! You‘ve piqued my interest again! 9mo
Amiable And honestly—while I detest Lovelace and everything he stands for, I continue to be angry and disgusted by the actions of all the other women in this story (with the exception of Anna Howe). Even Lovelace knows they are horrible creatures: “A bad woman is certainly, Jack, more terrible to her own sex than even a bad man.” (edited) 9mo
Amiable This week‘s Lovelace quote that made me want to pitch the book across the room: “For if we were married, all the disgrace you imagine you have suffered while a single lady, will be my own, and only known to ourselves.” You IMAGINE? Because being drugged and sexually assaulted only happened in Clarissa‘s imagination? Lovelace really is a piece of work. 9mo
Amiable Clarissa‘s quote of the week: “I am sick of thee, MAN!” We‘re all right there with you, girlfriend! 9mo
Lcsmcat @Amiable Oh no! I used the wrong tag list! Which explains why so few people were chiming in! (I‘m a bit overcommitted this month.) 9mo
TheEllieMo @Amiable yes, I had the same reaction as you when I saw that line! 9mo
Lcsmcat @Amiable That quote enraged me too, along with “And what is that injury which a church-rite will not at any time repair?” Because marrying your rapist makes it all ok???? 9mo
Amiable @Lcsmcat No worries—we‘ll all help keep things on track! Your wall is a designated safe space for #Clarissa rants. A literary support group, as it were. 😀 9mo
Lcsmcat @Amiable I wonder what the Wharton group is thinking about being tagged midbook on a book they aren‘t reading. 😂 But yes, we all need a safe ranting place for this novel!!! 9mo
jewright @Lcsmcat Some of us are on both lists, so I didn‘t even notice. 9mo
Lcsmcat @jewright Obviously I didn‘t either. 😂😂 9mo
Daisey @Lcsmcat Thanks for the tag update. I checked your feed and wondered how I got missed but wasn‘t concerned. June was super busy, so I‘m also about two weeks behind on reading. I finally started reading again this week but I‘m barely into Volume 6. Hoping to work on catching up this week and chime in next week. 9mo
BarbaraJean Like @Daisey, I wondered why I got missed off the list, but I checked your feed and found the post so I wasn't worried. 🙂 @Amiable That letter 36! I was so pleased to read that Clarissa had entirely anticipated Lovelace's schemes and took the preventative measure of locking the door from the outside and hanging onto the key. Smart girl. That whole scene was intense! 9mo
Jerdencon Im also hoping Lovelace gets cut off @BarbaraJean and then he won‘t have money to pay all these people to do his horrible biding… I really despise about 90% of the characters in this book! 9mo
Amiable @BarbaraJean I‘m cheering on Clarissa‘s strategic thinking, too! Although I am worried, too —at one point Lovelace wrote, “She had best take care that she carries not her obstinacy much farther. She knows not what revenge for slighted love will make me do.” And we already know he‘s a liar and a gaslighter and a thief and a rapist—how much lower can he go? 😬 9mo
Lcsmcat @Amiable @BarbaraJean That quote about “slighted love” was chilling to me when I read it. 9mo
BarbaraJean @Amiable @Lcsmcat Yes, what a chilling quote. He's made a couple of other veiled threats, too, which make me worry. Especially because he's only voicing those to Belford. I don't know how much worse it can get, but it makes me even more afraid for Clarissa. The fact that the widow Sinclair has given up all pretense of being respectable, and the clear plotting of the other women in the house worries me as well. 9mo
TheBookHippie @Amiable The women thing bothers me the MOST. A bad woman IS worse … we see that here in this story and still today!!!! I‘m so infuriated !!! 😵‍💫 9mo
TheBookHippie Death, boils, leprosy … all ten plagues at once many deaths… 9mo
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Weekly Report

I've finished An Exquisite Corpse and Lessons in Chemistry and should return to one of my paused books: She Devil, Celestial Harmonies, or The Rainbow. Instead I'll probably read more Sandman. And the Clarissa year-long read, of course.

BarbaraBB Of course you are reading Clarissa too! I am still on the fence about joining 1y
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It‘s hard to wait for the mail! Sticking to the plan of reading each letter on the date it was written and anxiously waiting for the second letter on January 13! #clarissa

Lcsmcat It brings back memories of waiting for letters from pen pals when I was young (and the internet didn‘t exist.) 1y
BarbaraBB I was thinking of your year long read! This one seems a good one (edited) 1y
BarbaraBB Did you join the buddy read hosted by @lcsmcat? Check the hashtag #clarissa. It sounds so tempting. I am still on the fence about jumping in! (edited) 1y
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JenniferP @BarbaraBB I did join it! Hopefully it will keep me more active on Litsy. And help me get through Clarissa! 1y
JenniferP @Lcsmcat yes, pen pals! So fun. 1y
BarbaraBB I hope so too! Are you reading the shortlist of the Tournament of Books? In that case you can join me in a really nice Litsy event. Kay (ridgewaygirl) will be joining too. I‘ll drag you into Litsy 😀😘 1y
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Here we go, fingers crossed the gossip will be entertaining as this book will keep me company for a looong time 🤞🏻Intriguing start, I must say.

PS: I cheated and read the next letter as well;)


Lcsmcat 😂 I have a feeling it may get more and more difficult not to “cheat!” 1y
hilded @Lcsmcat Let‘s hope so 😅 1y
Tamra Yes, I found it difficult to stop and my eyes wandered to the next letter! 1y
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hilded @Tamra Luckily that‘s a good sign. Keep the juicy gossip coming 😅 1y
Amiable @Lcsmcat @Tamra I might have to cheat because I‘m bound to forget what happened in the previous letter(s) if the gap between them is more than a day at a time! 😀 1y
hilded @Amiable Same for me 😆 1y
Lcsmcat @Amiable @Tamra As long as we‘re careful about spoilers, I think we won‘t risk damnation. 😂 1y
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