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Chapter 8 - Resilient to Narrative: Clarissa after Reading

from Part III - Uses of Scripture for Fiction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 March 2021

Kevin Seidel
Affiliation:
Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia
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Summary

Chapter 8 focuses on a uniquely descriptive scene in Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa (1749) where the heroine is depicted under arrest, kneeling in silent prayer, with her finger enclosed in a Bible to mark where she had been reading. This chapter also briefly discusses book scenes in Richardson’s Pamela (1740), where the heroine is compared to the Book of Common Prayer. This chapter shows how Richardson uses the authority associated with devotional reading to hallow our imaginative, psychological descent into his fictional characters.

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Chapter
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Rethinking the Secular Origins of the Novel
The Bible in English Fiction 1678–1767
, pp. 202 - 230
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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