Study Guide

Clarissa Letters 81-110

By Samuel Richardson

Letters 81-110

  • According to Anna, London is the best place to hide in the world. In her opinion, Clarissa should get herself to London lickety-split to prevent the whole Solmes marriage thing from going down.
  • Anna would take in Clarissa herself, but you know, her mom's not on board with that plan. Sorry!
  • Clarissa's totally on board with the London plan, but she's not really sure how she's going to get there.
  • Yippee! Aunt Hervey tells Clarissa that she doesn't have to go to her Uncle Antony's.
  • …and the reason she doesn't have to go is because she's going to marry Solmes. In her room, like ASAP. Boo.
  • Aunt Hervey fills Clarissa in on Lovelace's dastardly plan to carry Clarissa off on her way to her Uncle Antony's. That's the whole reason for the speedy marriage.
  • Clarissa is one desperate gal. She writes to Lovelace that she'll run away with him, but only if he brings his lady-cousins to supervise.
  • Of course, our girl Clarissa is having second thoughts. She has a particularly nasty nightmare in which Lovelace kidnaps her, stabs her, and throws her into a grave. Uh, no thanks.
  • And in the meantime, snoopy maid Betty Barnes is being snoopy. She keeps poking around in Clarissa's clothes like she thinks something is up.
  • Clarissa changes her mind on D-Day and decides to ride out the Solmes thing without running away.
  • But she has to let Lovelace know what's up so he doesn't wait for her, right? Right? Bueller?
  • This next part gets related in a letter Clarissa writes to Anna from St. Albans. To everyone's great shock and surprise, Lovelace got his way.
  • Clarissa explains that when she went to let Lovelace know it's a no go, he got all panicky and strange.
  • And then there were gunshots and chaos in the background.
  • Lovelace whisked Clarissa out of there just like that. He's got to protect her, right?
  • Little does Clarissa know that dastardly servant Joseph Lemans is causing a ruckus to distract the family. It's a trap!
  • By the time Clarissa can catch her breath, she's at Lovelace's lodgings in St Albans. Surprise, surprise—there are no female cousins and no separate lodgings for Clarissa.
  • Anna writes back and is all "It's cool…but you better marry that guy or get out, like, yesterday."
  • Oh yeah, and she tells Clarissa that the Harlowes wouldn't have made her marry Solmes if she really hadn't wanted to. Excuse us if we're a little skeptical.
  • (Brain Snack: actually, maybe we shouldn't be so skeptical. England in the eighteenth century spent a lot of time patting itself on the back for not tyrannizing over its women in comparison to other countries. (Go ahead and roll your eyes.) One of the examples writers would bring up is that English girls always had the power to say "no"—that no one could force a girl into a marriage. So, Anna is not entirely off-base here, even though having your whole family pressuring you might feel a lot like force.)
  • Lovelace writes to his pal, John Belford, to gloat over tricking the pure Clarissa. He hasn't totally reformed, he says.
  • Basically, Clarissa and Lovelace have been playing cat and mouse at St. Albans.
  • Clarissa tries to get away from Lovelace, and Lovelace keeps chasing after Clarissa. This is getting a little old.
  • He confides in Belford that he's cool with marrying Clarissa. But he's going to try to seduce her and not marry her, just to give it the old college try.