Samuel Richardson e le lettere… the epistolary form

SAMUEL RICHARDSON (1689-1761) was born in a quite poor family and  received little education. In 1706 he was apprenticed (= apprendista) to a London printer and in 1721 he started a business of his own, combining printing and publishing. He became one of the most prominent men in London and  his house was famous for his readings and literary parties where he entertained some of the most vivid intellects of the time, among them Dr. Johnson, the painter William Hogarth, and the actor David Garrick. In 1739 he was asked to write a collection of “Familiar Letters”, models of polite correspondence (= modelli di lettere educate) for educated people. It developed into an epistolary novel, Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740-41) which had a great  success and was translated into several languages and read all over  Europe. Pamela,  or Virtue Rewarded (= La Virtù Ricompensata; 1740-1741) about a young servant persecuted by son of the household (= casa dove lavora) , who tries to seduce her. She protects her virtue successfully; he is moved when he reads her secret diary and  marries her. Richardson makes the “love” letters addressed not to a lover, but to Pamela’s parents. 
Richardson’s second novel Clarissa: or The History of a Young Lady (1748) deals with the same theme of  female virtue, but  the heroine dies of grief (=dolore) after being seduced by the libertine she loves.
Richardson then published The History of Sir Charles Grandison (1754), set  in aristocratic and wealthy society with the portrayal of a “good man” to balance (= bilanciare) his two previous female creations.