intense sensations

Rape, murder, galloping gonorrhea and suicide

Posted on: September 14, 2011

Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A lot of nonsense is talked about Clarissa. It’s essentially a rape fantasy, ending in the death of the victim. Condense it down to 60,000 words, stick a distressed nude on the cover and, if it isn’t banned, it would sell like hot cakes on Amazon.

According to Lord Macaulay, once entered in Clarissa, you are infected by her and can’t leave off for a minute.

On the other hand, says Samuel Johnson, if you were to read this for the story you would be so much fretted that you would hang yourself.

So, there you are. Rape, murder, galloping gonorrhea and suicide.

So much for “Virtue Rewarded.”

What do you think?

This story is nearly a million words long, so I always give a copy at Christmas to people who I don’t want to meet again for a while.

Vanessa Wu is the author of Love Has No Limits


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