Clarissa Harlowe
Clarissa Harlowe

Clarissa Harlowe Introduction

by Samuel Richardson

Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady is an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson. It tells the tragic story of a heroine whose quest for virtue is continually thwarted by her family, and is one of the longest novels in the English language. Clarissa Harlowe, the tragic heroine, is a beautiful and virtuous young lady whose family has become wealthy only recently and now desires to become part of the aristocracy. Their original plan was to concentrate the wealth and lands of the Harlowes into the possession of Clarissa’s brother James Harlowe, whose wealth and political power will lead to his being granted a title. Clarissa’s grandfather leaves her a substantial piece of property upon his death, and a new route to the nobility opens through Clarissa marrying Robert Lovelace, heir to an earldom.

Clarissa Harlowe PREFACE

Clarissa Harlowe LETTERS OF VOLUME I

Clarissa Harlowe LETTER I