Wednesday, July 14, 2010


An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews. (Shamela) Henry Fielding. 1741. 40 pages.

Just a few months after Pamela was first published, Henry Fielding published Shamela, a short, satirical response to Pamela. You can read it online here. (This is not the only response to Pamela, by the way, there is also Joseph Andrews, also by Fielding, and Anti-Pamela by Eliza Haywood. You can buy Shamela with either Joseph Andrews or Anti-Pamela.)

Shamela claims to be the 'true' story behind Pamela. Readers will recognize many of the same characters--Shamela/Pamela, Mr. B, Parson Williams, etc. But Fielding's characters are earthier. His heroine is anything but virtuous and pure. In fact, before she met Mr. B's mother and became her companion, Shamela was involved with Parson Williams. (How involved? Having a little one involved.) When Shamela notices Mr. B's interest, she begins to scheme, with some help (from Mrs. Jervis and Mrs. Jewkes), on how to best trap him into marriage. Does she love him? No! She's still fond of Mr. Williams and longs for those times she can catch him alone. But she is thinking of all the things that could be hers if she fools Mr. B into this marriage! Shamela is quite entertaining!

At the end of June, I reviewed Pamela by Samuel Richardson.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Alessandra @Out of the Blue 1:37 PM  

I'll have to read this, especially if it's short. Thanks for the link to the online version.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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