Clarissa Volume 1: Or, the History of a Young Lady
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A young woman struggles to maintain her innocence and virtue despite the pressures of a libertine rake and her restrictive family in Clarissa, Samuel Richardson’s epic eighteenth-century novel that appears on DailyLit in several volumes. Clarissa Harlowe is an extremely beautiful, virtuous and educated young lady who has inherited a great sum of money from her late grandfather. Her family, anxious about the effect her money may have, tries to force her into a marriage with the odious, aging Mr. Solmes. Clarissa, however, steadfastly refuses to marry Solmes, and her refusal scandalizes her father and brother. Trapped within her own house, Clarissa makes the rash decision to escape with Lovelace, a rakish, seductive man with whom she has carried on a private correspondence. Though Lovelace removes her from the reach of Solmes, Clarissa is now completely vulnerable to Lovelace’s increasingly predatory sexual advances. As her former savior becomes her persecutor, Clarissa struggles with all of her might to maintain her chastity and integrity. In one of the most psychologically compelling narratives of its time, Richardson explores the desperate relationship between families and strangers, and the pressures that can lead to hasty and catastrophic decisions.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
LETTER I: MISS ANNA HOWE, TO MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE JAN 10.
I am extremely concerned, my dearest friend, for the disturbance that have happened in your family. I know how it must hurt you to become the subject of the public talk: and yet, upon an occasion so generally known, it is impossible but ...
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