Abstract

This article examines how Samuel Richardson represents the wedding night in Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded (1740). I argue that the complexity of this episode has not been fully understood or appreciated previously. My essay has two main sections. The first examines the mimetic challenge posed by the wedding night and how various genres (the novel, the wedding-night poem, and the marital conduct manual) handled it. The second section focuses closely on Pamela. There, I argue that Richardson represents the wedding night with both greater modesty and greater specificity than most of his peers. Finally, I show how his subsequent revisions of the novel backed away from the daring depiction of the wedding night in the original.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 521-539
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-19
Open Access
No
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