This semester I chose to take a British Literature class (because nobody stopped me). The Syllabus tells me that among other genres of British Literature we will be studying the pornographic novel. Now if that had been the course description I think the class would be fuller.
So far we've read "Moll Flanders" a woman who exchanges husbands and lovers for money and don't forget has 13 children but doesn't raise any of them, she leaves them behind. After she gets to old to bargain herself as a commodity she then spends the rest of her life as an accomplished thief.
No we are reading "Pamela" from Samuel Richardson and I think it might kill me. The guy (Lord of the house) in the first half of this very long novel keeps trying to rape this 16 yo girl (a maid). Then supposedly because of her virtue he changes tactics and decides to marry this lowly maid. The entire novel is told in letters, mostly hers and really can anyone talk about virtue for 500 pages and still keep the reader interested? Not today but the interesting thing is that both these novels, especially Pamela were huge in 18th century, like Twilight huge. Pamela was the first book with merchandise, fans, cups, banners, plates. Operas, plays and songs were written about it, all I can think is that people back then must have been really hungry for some entertainment.
I have to give a group presentation on this book Friday - so wish me luck.