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Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady, Volume 2  By  cover art

Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady, Volume 2

By: Samuel Richardson
Narrated by: Samuel West,Nigel Pilkington,Roger May,Anna Bentinck,Katie Scarfe,Lucy Scott,John Foley,Hayward Morse,Paul Panting,Teresa Gallagher
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Publisher's Summary

A milestone in the history of the novel, Samuel Richardson's epistolary and elaborate Clarissa follows the life of a chaste young woman desperate to protect her virtue. When beautiful Clarissa Harlowe is forced to marry the rich but repulsive Mr. Solmes, she refuses, much to her family's chagrin. She escapes their persecution with the help of Mr. Lovelace, a dashing and seductive rake, but soon finds herself in a far worse dilemma. Terrifying and enlightening, Clarissa weaves a tapestry of narrative experimentation into a gripping morality tale of good versus evil. The recording is divided into three volumes. 

Public Domain (P)2018 Naxos Audiobooks

What listeners say about Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady, Volume 2

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This is Goodbye!

From my Goodreads update: I'm 64% done with Clarissa

That's enough. I've endured this unending novel too long. That it is long isn't the issue. What I can't take is that one of the two main protagonists is a misogynist of the first order who makes it the sole purpose of his life to indulge in the mistreatment of women. I don't have to put up with it. I won't put up with it. Lovelace and your ilk: please die now, both in fiction and in life. I won't have it. Adieu.

8 people found this helpful

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A Dramatic Triumph

Lucy Scott's performance of the title character is the finest audiobook interpretation I have ever heard. Every sentence, every phrase is read with a tone at once urgent and intimate, as if to draw the listener into her confidence and persuade.

6 people found this helpful

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Depressing (ly long)

I made it through nearly 65 hours of this tale. A surfeit of clever phrases. A plethora of deceit. The definitive work in lampshading. A misinformation campaign that makes QAnon pale, and plumbs the depths of human gullibility. A reminder of what a true lack of agency can be like, although Clarissa is her own worst enemy. To her thought (like so many other fellow English) to flee to the colonies, she should add options of fratricide, suicide or mariticide. All talk no walk. OK, maybe the lack of agency reigns, but it seems to me that Clarissa's isolation from page 1 is contrived.

Do I want to invest another 30 hours? [actually 13 or so at 2.4x] Perhaps I should write a letter to ask advice. BBC tells me tells me to press on. My heart tells me that I would despair; but having already read the contemporaneous works of Sarah and Richard Fielding and of Austen and Bronte to come, there is hope. So interspersing other uplifting works, I may slip back into this slow train wreck to see how Richardson wraps it up.
On the positive note, the era's epistolating and courier services have got Twitter, Meta and FedEx beat.

1 person found this helpful

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he is not a man but a bealzabub

I enjoyed the second book of Clarissa much less than the first. This book is mostly letters between two men who are pigs who use and abuse women. Frankly, it was sad to me that such men have existed since time began. Even sadder is the fact that women allow other women to fall in the same trap that swallowed them. Like female characters who are angels, I found it hard to believe that anyone could be as bad as the male anti-hero in this book. I found it difficult to listen to his plans and first increased the speed of the book. When that wasn't sufficient, I started skipping his letters altogether. As another reviewer mentioned, I just couldn't listen to his devilish plans. Instead I kept up with the plot by reading the other letters only.

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  • Dog in a Flat Cap
  • 08-22-18

Truly outstanding

I have just reached the end of volume 2 and am beside myself that volume 3 is not yet on audible!! I have been reading the actual book alongside the audiobook so can resume the story; but I’ve been so much enjoying the audiobook that I’m disappointed not to be able to continue listening.

As far as the narration goes, i love Lucy Scott’s voice and recently enjoyed her reading Marie Kondo’s book on Tidying - which was how I happened to find her narration of Clarissa’s letters in this gargantuan epistolary novel.

As for the novel itself, it’s an absolute masterpiece. If I could award more than 5 stars I would.

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  • J M
  • 07-19-20

Clarissa Volume 2

A slightly more difficult listen than Volume 1, but once again, a very high quality audiobook that is well worth persevering with.