Thursday, February 20, 2014

Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady

Clarissa  Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

In January I started reading Samuel Richardson's "Clarissa" as part of a real-time read along organized by author Lynn Shepherd. The 1,534-page behemoth is the story of virtuous Clarissa Harlowe and Richard Lovelace, who is described on Goodreads as "easily the most charming villain in English literature." Set in the mid-18th-century, their story is told through letters that run from January 10 to December 18. As Ms. Shepherd describes in her blog post, the real-time aspect of the project is accomplished by reading each day's letters on the relevant date and sharing your thoughts on Twitter as you read, with the hashtag #Clarissa. Ms. Shepherd is also keeping a running summary of the letters we've read on her blog, so if you come in a little late, you can quickly catch up.

This is just about the only way I can conceive of tackling this doorstop of a book! Anyone want to join me?

"Upon my word I am sometimes tempted to think that we may make the world allow for and respect us as we please, if we can but be sturdy in our wills, and set out accordingly. It is but being the less beloved for it, that's all: and if we have power to oblige those we have to do with, it will not appear to us that we are."
-- Miss Clarissa Harlowe, to Miss Howe Jan. 20

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