Since the publication of his novel Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded in 1740, Samuel Richardson's place in the English literary tradition has been secured. But how can that place best be described? Over the three centuries since embarking on his printing career the 'divine' novelist has been variously understood as moral crusader, advocate for women, pioneer of the realist novel and print innovator. Situating Richardson's work within these social, intellectual and material contexts, this new volume of essays identifies his centrality to the emergence of the novel, the self-help book, and the idea of the professional author, as well as his influence on the development of the modern English language, the capitalist economy, and gendered, medicalized, urban, and national identities. This book enables a fuller understanding and appreciation of Richardson's life, work and legacy, and points the way for future studies of one of English literature's most celebrated novelists.
Peter Sabor holds the Canada Research Chair in Eighteenth-Century Studies at McGill University, Montreal, where he is Director of the Burney Centre. His publications include, as co-author, Pamela in the Marketplace (Cambridge, 2005) and, as editor, Juvenilia in The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen (Cambridge, 2006), The Cambridge Companion to Emma (Cambridge, 2015), and The Correspondence of Samuel Richardson with Lady Bradshaigh and Lady Echlin (3 vols., Cambridge, 2016). Betty A. Schellenberg is Professor of English at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. Her publications include Literary Coteries and the Making of Modern Print Culture (Cambridge, 2016), an edition of Samuel Richardson's Correspondence Primarily on Sir Charles Grandison (1750-4) (Cambridge, 2015); The Professionalization of Women Writers in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge, 2005); Reconsidering the Bluestockings (2003, co-editor Nicole Pohl); and The Conversational Circle: Rereading the English Novel, 1740-75 (1996).