Clarissa – month 2

Oh I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for it finally to be time to read this book again. I love the idea of reading the letters on the appropriate days and experiencing the same impatience as the characters do when they are waiting for the next letter. It has been so hard to wait for almost all of February to finally be allowed to read one letter on the 20th, and then a few more letters for the rest of February. 10 letters so far in total.

It’s so hard to wait to read on. But right now, I think it enhances my reading experience. Maybe later, I will read this like ‘a normal book’, just read when I feel like it and not sit around waiting for the dates to arrive but I will probably only do this when rereading it. For now, I’m actually glad to be doing it like this. Eagerly putting a note in my calendar on the date when the next letter is to be read, whenever I finish one letter. Looking forward to reading on. Learning more about these characters. I didn’t think I would like it all that much but I really do.

So in the February letters, we find Clarissa back at home. While she has been visiting her friend Anna, her family has conspired to find her a husband so that she wouldn’t marry Lovelace. This conspiracy is of course led by her brother who really hates Lovelace. Her brother practically takes on the role of presenting Mr. Solmes’ proposal to Clarissa since, as Clarissa states it, Mr. Solmes is only wooing her family and not her. When she avoids him and more, it’s put down to her being coy since everybody is assuming that she naturally will do as her parents asks (demands) and marry this man – whom she dislikes.

Of course, this whole thing is preposterous since Clarissa dislikes Lovelace so and only spends time with him when forced to by social conventions and etiquette – and never alone.

I must say that Clarissa’s constant objections to having any interest and feeling for Lovelace, is making me wonder if she does so after all. Haven’t we all strongly denied being interested in someone because we for some reason didn’t want to admit it, didn’t want others to know? Or maybe was ashamed of feeling so? And I can see – as I read further – that Clarissa’s best friend Anna is also having her doubts about how Clarissa truly feel for Lovelace and has also seen that the way her family is trying to force her to marry another man whom she detest, is thereby pushing her towards Lovelace.

Also, her brother continue to annoy me. I still really much fall into my own role as little sister when he’s in the book and immediately want to protest and disagree with everything he says – to the point of almost rooting for Lovelace. I mean, we don’t know anything really bad about Lovelace except what Clarissa’s brother has told us – and we don’t trust him, now, do we?

The funny thing is, after having written the paragraph above, I read further on and discovered that Clarissa felt exactly the same as me. She too was getting so annoyed by especially her brother’s behavior that she’s starting to consider Lovelace in a more positive light. This book was written back in 1748 and yet, Clarissa and I have the exact same emotions. Isn’t that what great literature is all about? It can be read so many years after it was written and still, we can connect emotionally to these characters.

This is really a great book!

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13 thoughts on “Clarissa – month 2

  1. I’m really enjoying this book, too, and hated waiting several weeks for a letter. That won’t be a problem in March, it looks like we have one (or more!) letter nearly every day. Anna may be right about Clarissa’a feelings for Lovelace. She had an especially insightful line that I quoted in my post … something about new love being more obvious to a bystander than the person falling in love.

    I will add your post to the February Round Up:

  2. I think Richardson (and his whole retinue of advisors) have really captured something with many of the characters which is instantly recognisable even now.

    The scene where she returns to her family really did seem to present us with a living breathing family and not just characters in a book, more so then possibly any book I have read.

  3. The waiting has been hard but I agree that the reading experience is enhanced by that wait.
    And as yet the reader doesn’t know anything bad about Lovelace – disliking Clarissa’s brother so much I find myself quite sympathetic towards him. it will beinteresting to see how things develop in March.
    Enjoy your reading!

  4. James is just an awful character, isn’t he? I can’t finding any redeeming characteristics in either of Clarissa’s siblings, come to think of it. I am actually looking forward to having a bit more reading to do on this next month, because the story is really starting to become interesting!

    • James is horrible! And the sister too, although she’s not so prominent. And yeah, the story is really getting good now, isn’t it? I’m so excited to be reading on!

  5. Ah yes, that is what makes this book (and others often) so delightful — the human nature and response that transcends time! I must admit that James is REALLY annoying me to. So is Bella. Can’t wait to dive back in for more.

  6. I’m glad the pace picks up in March. I have a feeling the end is going to be hard to read by letter date, because it starts spreading out again. It will be hard to wait, but I’m going to try to stick with reading on the actual dates as much as possible.

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