Study Guide

Clarissa Letters 51-80

By Samuel Richardson

Letters 51-80

  • The World's Most Annoying Brother, a.k.a. James Harlowe, writes to Clarissa to pressure her into meeting up with Solmes. Way to butt into your sister's love life, bro.
  • Clarissa writes back a snippy reply to her parents. Nope, she's not going to see Solmes, and big bro needs to shove it.
  • Remember, the whole Harlowe fam lives in the same house. Since the Harlowes are giving Clarissa the silent treatment, the only way they communicate is via letter. Family dysfunction at its best!
  • The Harlowes let Clarissa know (via letter, of course) that they intend to ship her off to her Uncle Antony's house. Good ol' Uncle Antony apparently plans to force Clarissa to see Solmes.
  • Because Clarissa's a good girl, she tries to get rid of her "angry passions" by playing the harpsichord. How's that working out for you, Clarissa?
  • Clarissa also composes an "Ode to Wisdom," apparently in a passive-aggressive attempt to make fun of her stupid family.
  • Even though Anna is still Team Lovelace, her mom tries to give Clarissa some advice about marrying Solmes. It's not so bad to marry someone you don't like, she says.
  • Yeah, Clarissa's not buying it. Especially after Solmes sends her a cringeworthy letter in which he misspells ready as "readie" and value as "valew." He basically wants Clarissa to cave and marry him. Oh yeah, and he wants the opportunity to throw Lovelace under the bus.
  • Clarissa writes back and is all, "Nope."
  • The trip to Uncle Antony's is going to be delayed, on one condition. Clarissa has to allow Solmes to visit her, no ifs, ands, or buts.
  • Clarissa secretly writes to Lovelace to let him know what's up.
  • Lovelace writes a scandalizing letter back, calling Clarissa his "dearest creature" and some other PG-13 things.
  • Clarissa is, pretty predictably, scandalized. No more letters for you, Lovelace!
  • Not to worry, because Anna's on the case. She does some detective work into Lovelace and finds that there's a pretty young thing named Rosebud at the inn where he's staying.
  • Clarissa is practically green with jealousy, but she survives.
  • It's all good, because Lovelace isn't messing around with Rosebud. Apparently, he's giving her money in order to make up for his past wrongdoings. Are we the only ones who are skeptical?
  • Since the Rosebud thing isn't a big deal, Clarissa starts writing back to Lovelace.
  • Ever the crafty one, Lovelace proposes that Clarissa escape from the Harlowe household. He tells her she needs to split before the Harlowes marry her off to Solmes.
  • Clarissa says no, but she's getting kind off suspicious of how nice everyone is acting towards her. Like, really? After all this time?
  • Yep, she's right. Clarissa's Aunt Hervey clues her in to the fact that she's basically accepting Solmes if she meets with him. Can't anyone be straightforward around here?
  • The Harlowe family even encourages Solmes to keep him from losing hope. They tell him Clarissa's a done deal.
  • Finally, the Solmes visit arrives. It goes about as well as could be expected: he's awkward and creepy, and Clarissa's fed up with the whole situation.
  • While Clarissa's out of her room, the whole family conducts a CIA-style raid to find her letters to Anna and Lovelace. Remember, this is where all the secrets are hidden!
  • After Solmes leaves, Betty comes up to Clarissa's room to confiscate her paper and pens. Except Clarissa's already hidden them. Oh, snap!
  • Lovelace is still pushing his whole escape plan. See, he's trying to do it all respectable-like: Clarissa can stay at his family's house while they're figuring everything out. No funny stuff.
  • On the other hand, he plans to abduct her if she goes to her Uncle Antony's. So there's that.