Samuel Richardson, an English author, born in Derbyshire in 1689, died in London, July 4, 1761. He was apprenticed to a printer of London, with whom he remained several years in the capacity of foreman. He then set up a printing office for himself, and obtained the employment of printing the journals of the house of commons. In 1754 he was master of the stationers' company. To his avocation of printer he gradually united that of preparing indexes, prefaces, or dedications to the works which he printed; and finally, after he was 50 years old, he wrote his novel "Pamela" (2 vols. 8vo, 1741), five editions of which were published within a year. He afterward wrote two additional volumes, which are considered greatly inferior to the first. The ridicule of Fielding is well known. Richardson was deeply hurt by it, and predicted for Fielding a speedy fall into oblivion. In 1748-9 appeared "The History of Clarissa Harlowe" (8 vols.), which, besides passing through several editions at home, was speedily translated into French and German. His last work of fiction was "The History of Sir Charles Gran-dison" (6 vols., 1753-4). He also published "AEsop's Fables with Reflections," and "Familiar Letters to and from several Persons upon Business and other Subjects," out of which the project of "Pamela" had arisen.
His "Correspondence" was published by Mrs. Barbauld in 1804 (6 vols. 12mo). A condensed edition of "Clarissa Harlowe" appeared in New York in 1874.