An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews

An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews

infobox Book |
name = An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = Henry Fielding
cover_artist =
country = England
language = English
series =
genre = Satire/Parody
publisher = A. Dodd
release_date = April 1741
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages =
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews", or "Shamela", as it is more commonly known, is a satirical novel written by Henry Fielding and first published in April 1741 under the name of Mr. Conny Keyber. (Fielding never owned to writing the work but it is widely considered to be his.Judith Hawley 'Note on the text' in "Joseph Andrews and Shamela". London: Penguin Books. 1999.] ) It is a direct attack on the then-popular novel "Pamela" (November 1740) by Fielding's contemporary and rival, Samuel Richardson and is composed, like "Pamela", in epistolary form.

Publishing History

"Shamela" was originally published anonymously on 4 April 1741 and sold for one shilling and sixpence. A second edition came out on 3 November that same year which was partly reimpressed and partly reset where emendations were made.A pirated edition printed in Dublin in 1741 as well. Reprint editions have subsequently appeared as texts for academic study.

Plot summary

"Shamela" is written as a shocking revelation of the true events which took place in the life of Pamela Andrews, the main heroine of "Pamela". From "Shamela" we learn that, instead of being a kind, humble, and chaste servant-girl, Pamela (whose true name turns out to be Shamela) is in fact a wicked and lascivious creature, scheming to entrap her master, Squire Booby, into marriage. In this way Fielding exposes the multiple weaknesses of Richardson's work, and has a good laugh at them too, although recent criticism has explored the ways in which 'Pamela' in fact dramatizes its own weaknesses, in which context Fielding's work may be seen as a development of possibilities already encoded in Richardson's work, rather than a simple attack (see, for instance, Thomas Keymer). Another novel by Fielding parodying "Pamela", albeit not so explicitly, is "The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and his Friend, Mr. Abraham Adams" (February 1742) more commonly known as "Joseph Andrews".


External links

* Full text of [ An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews] at Google Books

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