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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 3

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Worth Every Cent and Second

Beautiful and terrible, the past laus itself bare in Clarissa for all the modern praise and damnation that can be given it. At once progressive in deigning to provide the titular fallen woman a redemption and an apparent soul, is at the same time regressive in maintaining, staunchly and explicitly, that this redemption is ONLY merited by her approved *virtue* whereas she would join the ranks of her sex that, implicitly, deserve their fate at the hands of evil men. This novel was alarming, exhausting, and infinitely fascinating throughout its entire run. Excellent production and performance by cast and crew heighten the stakes and realize the trembling vibrancy, excitement and fear experienced by Clarissa, as well as the coldness of her relatives and the ardent grotesqueness of Lovelace. I highly reccommend to those who are already predisposed to the historical and academic enjoyments of a novel of this age and kind and would also attest it to be worthwhile of the time spent (especially if listened to at 2 or 2.5 speed, as I did) as well as the triple credit, if for no other reason to have successfully completed the novel that still holds (even after 250 years!) the title to the longest printed in the English language.

2 people found this helpful

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It was great until Letter 333.

Clarissa is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read, and I loved the first two volumes of this audiobook. Things were going along fine in volume three until Belford, in a letter to Lovelace, began recounting what Clarissa had said when he visited her. He sounded as though he were mocking her. This is such a tender, sensitive text, and the narrator destroyed it; I had to skip his letters and revert back to my paperback as they were too insulting to listen to. All other narrators were excellent, however, and the book is definitely worth reading.

1 person found this helpful

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just end already!!

This third book was the most difficult to listen to but I had invested too much time to not complete the book. the problem was that there were too many letters from and about the main characters and too few letters from my favorite character... Miss Howe. (spoiler alert ahead). the plot lines began to get old. Why did it take so long for the stupid cousin to come? why was a young woman sick for no reason. As another author observed, people do not die of a broken heart even if they would prefer that fate. And if Clarissa was destined to die, why did she take so long to do it? I found myself saying out loud, " just die, will you?" As you may have guessed, I was very glad when the book finally ended. I wrote my daughter a letter in the same style as the book begging her not to suggest any more books... especially books that she didn't complete herself. Judge for yourself whether you want to start the book. I'm glad I started it and and even more glad that it is over. I am most happy that I had an opportunity to meet the wonderful character Miss Howe.

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Stupendous production!

This wonderful, far-too-long novel I would never have read in its entirety but for the lively delivery and many voices that make this piece play like a string quartet. Abundant thanks to the actors, directors, and producers.

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Worth every minute

The cast and producers of Naxos Audiobook's Clarissa have produced a recording that will probably do more to enlarge the novel's audience than any single printed edition since its publication in 1748. As in the first two volumes, Lucy Scott's reading of the Clarissa is a dramatic triumph that captures the heroine's spiritual insight mingled with self-deception. The supporting cast is outstanding, with readings that frequently reminded me of listening to Shakespeare. The listener who perseveres through the three volumes of this recording will gain an understanding of Samuel Johnson's judgement of Clarissa as "the first book in the world for the knowledge it displays of the human heart."

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  • Tine
  • 08-24-20

Great production

As this is a very long book, the use of different narrators is essential to not get tired of listening. They did a great job.

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  • J M
  • 07-19-20

Clarissa Volume 3

The final volume of a very long book, and more dramatic than the first two. Very well acted and produced.