As the New Year begins, Terri and I will embark on a new project. We're going to read Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. This 18th century masterpiece, subtitled Or the History of a Young Lady, is an epistolary novel composed of 537 letters dated from January 10 through December 18. At roughly 1500 pages, we'll try to read the letters around their corresponding dates. This should provide at least a loose structure to the venture.
Plot synopsis (from amazon):
Pressured by her unscrupulous family to marry a wealthy man she detests, the young Clarissa Harlowe is tricked into fleeing with the witty and debonair Robert Lovelace and places herself under his protection. Lovelace, however, proves himself to be an untrustworthy rake whose vague promises of marriage are accompanied by unwelcome and increasingly brutal sexual advances. And yet, Clarissa finds his charm alluring, her scrupulous sense of virtue tinged with unconfessed desire. Told through a complex series of interweaving letters, Clarissa is a richly ambiguous study of a fatally attracted couple and a work of astonishing power and immediacy. A huge success when it first appeared in 1747, and translated into French and German, it remains one of the greatest of all European novels.
I will be reading a very hefty (nearly 3 pound!) Penguin Classics edition, while Terri has the tome downloaded on her e-reader. We don't have a firm posting schedule set, but are leaning toward monthly progress updates. We'll be chatting on twitter, too. Would you like to join us?