Clarissa is an epistolary novel, or a narrative told through letters, and follows the heroine of the same name as she undergoes a series of misfortunes. At the beginning of this 18th-century novel, Clarissa is a virtuous and optimistic young woman whose family hopes to be granted an aristocratic title. When her parents scheme to force her into an unwanted marriage, Clarissa escapes with Lovelace, who soon proves to be cruel and morally corrupt. Despite all the hardships Clarissa undergoes, she remains true to her morals and beliefs until her tragic death.

Summary of Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

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