THIS DAY IN PUBLISHING - 19th August

Opinion - People 19 August 2015

On this day in 1689, English author Samuel Richardson was born.


Richardson is most famous for the novel PAMELA: OR VIRTUE REWARDED, which sought to teach young girls to be well mannered and virtuous, which has been a target for satire since its publication. 
 
Epistolary novels were certainly Richardson's forte and through them he communicated his ideas on celebrating virtue. Despite this apparent piety, however, his name still appeared on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a list established by the pope containing the names of books that Catholics were not allowed to read.
 
Aside from being a novelist, Richardson also owned and ran a printing press, inherited from the printer he apprenticed to at a young age. The success of the press eventually lead to his becoming Master of the Stationers. In fact, he only turned to novel-writing when it became clear that there would be no male heirs to take on the business after his death: of his nine children, only four daughters survived!

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