I have finished Clarissa! *moons Samuel Richardson*

Oi! Sam! I bet you thought your giant book would beat me, but no! *cocks a snook*

And by virtue of this blog, I have been able to look back and see when I posted about starting, what appears to have been March! That’s the longest I’ve ever taken to read a book, but then, this is no normal book, and I found the approach of small regular amounts, which I will from now on refer to as medicinal reading (it’s doing me good but I’m not enjoying it), was the only way to to.

So, what have I got out of reading one of the longest novels (nearly a million words) ever written? Er, well, I’ve learned I can see a book I’m not enjoying through when it is part of the 100 Greatest Novels challenge, and from the book itself, just how much parental obedience and propriety mattered in 1748. I knew in mattered in a ruined woman/necessity of chaperones type of way, but the extend did surprise me. Clarissa literally *spoiler alert* dies because of the mess she is in. People did that back then, they could be so upset their bodies stopped working. It was probably the lack of distractions, if Clarissa was alive today she could have fled her semi-imprisonment situation more easily, tweeted her pain and moved on. Or, taken herself on a yoga retreat, booked some counselling sessions and told her parents they were being idiotic.

The book is a collection of letters, but luckily, Clarissa knew she couldn’t live much longer, so she wrote lots of extra letters for people to read after her death. The architect of all the mess then gets what he deserves, and in fact the last 100 or so pages were actually pretty *gasp* interesting.

Samuel Richardson and his family. His first wife died as did their five sons, but his second wife and their four daughters all lived to adulthood.

Samuel Richardson and his family. His first wife died as did their five sons, but his second wife and their four daughters all lived to adulthood.

Now I just need to finish Don Quixote, which is infuriating and driving me mad, then I will be a new woman. I am constantly fighting the urge to reach into this novel and punch Don Quixote, and save his horse, Rocinante, as he is not fit to care for a hamster, let alone anything else.

Advertisements