Samuel Richardson

Standard Name: Richardson, Samuel
SR 's three epistolary novels, published between 1740 and 1753, exerted an influence on women's writing which was probably stronger than that of any other novelist, male or female, of the century. He also facilitated women's literary careers in his capacity as member of the publishing trade, and published a letter-writing manual and a advice-book for printers' apprentices.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Ann Hatton
This turbulent, restless and divided family was also unusual in being of mixed religion. Ann's mother was a Protestant and her father a Catholic . They followed the same system proposed for a mixed marriage...
Cultural formation Hannah Cullwick
To all eyes she lived as Munby's servant; she often still slept in the basement kitchen. In the evenings, however, she played the role of a lady wife, sitting with Munby in the parlour, conversing...
Dedications Frances Sheridan
This novel was complete in itself; the sequel was not thought of till later. FS dedicated it to Samuel Richardson , who had been a strong supporter and who was to die only four months...
Dedications Elizabeth Cooper
EC called this book the first publick Tryal of my Muse.
Cooper, Elizabeth. The Rival Widows. T. Woodward.
It was printed the same year (by Samuel Richardson ) with a dedication to Sarah Duchess of Marlborough . Though Christiana Horton played...
Education Mary Cowden Clarke
MCC later remembered her responsibility, when very young, of escorting her two next younger brothers to their school.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. My Long Life. Dodd, Mead.
Unlike them, she began her education at home. She writes fondly about the rich array of...
Education Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck
In the house of an aunt she was surprised to find novels (particularly those of Richardson ) a topic of conversation,
Schimmelpenninck, Mary Anne. Life of Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck. Editor Hankin, Christiana C., Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts.
1: 118
and that (in her own judgement) Fielding and Smollett , and various...
Education Mrs F. C. Patrick
She must have been well educated. She has a good grasp of history and politics, and of canonical English fiction from Richardson to her own most respected immediate female predecessors. She took a wry interest...
Education Elizabeth Pipe Wolferstan
EPW says nothing specific about her intellectual development, except that Richardson 's Sir Charles Grandison had formed her mind and heart. Her education was clearly a good one that included much reading.
Education Catherine Carswell
In her unfinished autobiography, CC remembers that while she grew up there were no novels in the house except Sir Walter Scott 's, and a small, fat, small-printed volume, bound in ornamental red and black...
Education Marjorie Bowen
To educate herself further, she read widely, setting herself literary exercises, writing verse imitating or dramatising Chaucer , Spenser , and Browning . However, she writes that at that time, I had read no really...
Family and Intimate relationships Stéphanie-Félicité de Genlis
SFG had two daughters or adopted daughters, Pamela (named after Richardson 's fictional heroine) and Hermine. Pamela later married an Irish patriot, becoming Lady Edward Fitzgerald . The question of her parentage, and indeed her...
Family and Intimate relationships Elizabeth Graeme Ferguson
Her mother, born Ann Diggs, was stepdaughter of the first colonial governor of Pennsylvania. Ann died in 1765, and like Elizabeth Singer Rowe (and Richardson 's Clarissa) she left posthumous letters for delivery after her death.
Garraty, John A., and Mark C. Carnes, editors. American National Biography. Oxford University Press.
Blain, Virginia et al., editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford.
Family and Intimate relationships Elizabeth Gilding
Like her, he was a contributor to magazines: a juvenile work by him appeared in the Lady's Magazine in 1775, and he later contributed to the European and other magazines under the name of Fidelio...
Friends, Associates Elizabeth Carter
EC associated on terms of warmth and equality with men of letters or culture such as Samuel Johnson , Samuel Richardson , Thomas Birch , Moses Browne , Richard Savage , William and John Duncombe
Friends, Associates Clara Reeve
Among her friends were Martha Bridgen (daughter of Samuel Richardson ), Thomas Percy , and Joseph Cooper Walker
Trainer, James, and Clara Reeve. “Introduction”. The Old English Baron, Oxford University Press.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray et al., editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
(who was also a good friend to other women writers from around the British Isles: to...


1714: Following the death of Mary Kettilby, her...

Building item


Following the death of Mary Kettilby , her executrix published her A Collection of Above Three Hundred Receipts in Cookery, Physick and Surgery; for the use of all good wives, tender mothers, and careful nurses.

19 June 1725: Dorothy Stanley, née Milborne, published...

Women writers item

19 June 1725

Dorothy Stanley , née Milborne, published by subscription Sir Philip Sidney 's Arcadia Moderniz'd, in four books (coinciding with the thirteenth edition of the original romance).
English Short Title Catalogue.

November 1739: Sir Roger L'Estrange's prose translation...

Writing climate item

November 1739

Sir Roger L'Estrange 's prose translation of Aesop 's Fables (formerly treated in snappy couplets by Aphra Behn ) was printed—by Samuel Richardson .

4 April 1741: Henry Fielding, publishing as Conny Keyber,...

Writing climate item

4 April 1741

Henry Fielding , publishing as Conny Keyber, led the rush of response to Richardson 's Pamela with a burlesque entitled Shamela.

Probably 10 July 1748: Dorothea, Lady Bradshaigh, wrote her first...

Writing climate item

Probably 10 July 1748

Dorothea, Lady Bradshaigh , wrote her first letter to Samuel Richardson , signing herself Belfour.

February 1755: Samuel Richardson read the alternative ending...

Writing climate item

February 1755

Samuel Richardson read the alternative ending to his novelClarissa that Lady Echlin (sister of Lady Bradshaigh ) had been spurred to write by her revulsion at Clarissa's rape and unmerited death.

12 May 1759: Edward Young published Conjectures on Original...

Writing climate item

12 May 1759

Edward Young published Conjectures on Original Composition. In a letter to the author of Sir Charles Grandison; a second volume followed the next month.

1767: At auctions of copyright, Richardson's Clarissa...

Writing climate item


At auctions of copyright, Richardson 's Clarissa was valued at £600, but Addison and Steele 's Spectator at £1,300, Shakespeare at £1,800, and Pope at £4,400.

1771: In a year when Sir Joshua Reynolds painted,...

Women writers item


In a year when Sir Joshua Reynolds painted, as Girl Reading, his niece Theophila Palmer perusing Richardson 's Clarissa, five novels by women advertised their Clarissa kinship.

1774: The British Novelist: Or, Virtue and Vice...

Writing climate item


The British Novelist: Or, Virtue and Vice in Miniature was published in twelve volumes of abridged texts by Sarah and Henry Fielding , Richardson , Smollett , and Lennox .

1780: James Harrison (hitherto chiefly known as...

Writing climate item


James Harrison (hitherto chiefly known as a music publisher) began to issue the handsomely-produced Novelists' Magazine, a weekly serial reprinting of canonical novels.

August-21 December 1791: In Paris the Salon of 1791, the first non-monarchical...

Building item

August-21 December 1791

In Paris the Salon of 1791, the first non-monarchical display of art to a new public, featured a large increase in works by women.

By 22 July 1797: William Beckford published a second and more...

Women writers item

By 22 July 1797

William Beckford published a second and more marked burlesque attack on women's writing: Azemia: A Descriptive and Sentimental Novel. Interspersed with Pieces of Poetry.

August 1813: The Critical Review published its first welcome...

Writing climate item

August 1813

The Critical Review published its first welcome to Eaton Stannard Barrett 's famous parody of sentimental novels, The Heroine, or Adventures of the Fair Romance Reader.

1990: Robin Holloway's opera Clarissa (composed...

Building item


Robin Holloway 's operaClarissa (composed in 1976 from Samuel Richardson 's novel of the same title, published in 1747-8) had its premiere.


Harris, Jocelyn, and Samuel Richardson. “Chronology”. Sir Charles Grandison, The World’s Classics, Oxford University Press, 1986, p. xliii - xlv.
Richardson, Samuel. Clarissa. S. Richardson, 1748.
Richardson, Samuel. Correspondence with Lady Bradshaigh and Lady Echlin. Editor Sabor, Peter, Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Richardson, Samuel. “Introduction”. Selected Letters of Samuel Richardson, edited by John Carroll, Clarendon, 1964, pp. 3-35.
Richardson, Samuel. “Introduction”. Correspondence with Aaron Hill and the Hill Family, edited by Christine Gerrard, Cambridge University Press, 2013, p. i - xlix.
Richardson, Samuel. “Notes”. Clarissa, edited by Angus Ross, Penguin, 1985, pp. 1513-26.
Richardson, Samuel. Pamela. C. Rivington and J. Osborn, 1740.
Richardson, Samuel. Pamela. Editor Sabor, Peter, Penguin, 1985.
Richardson, Samuel, and Penelope Aubin. “Preface”. A Collection of Entertaining Histories and Novels, D. Midwinter, 1739.
Richardson, Samuel. Selected Letters of Samuel Richardson. Editor Carroll, John, Clarendon Press, 1964.
Richardson, Samuel. Sir Charles Grandison. S. Richardson.
Richardson, Samuel. Sir Charles Grandison. Editor Harris, Jocelyn, Oxford University Press, 1986.
Richardson, Samuel. The Correspondence of Samuel Richardson. Editor Barbauld, Anna Letitia, Richard Phillips, 1804.