Clarissa; a year long project

There is one novel that has been staring or glaring at me for years. It sits lonely at the bottom of my shelves gathering dust. Occasionally I look at it and avert my eyes instantly because I feel guilty. Why do I feel guilty? I know I will love this novel. I knew I would from the moment I picked it up in a bookstore all those years ago but for some reason I just couldn't pick it up. It's MASSIVE but the size isn't what intimidates me. It's the words; the density; the feeling that to read it and understand it and love it I would have to take it slow and let the words seep into my veins. 

What is this novel? It's Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. No book intimidates me more than this one but when I looked at the novel this morning I felt something new: I know I need to read it and if I don't do it now I never will. I have thought long and hard about how I want to read it and I've decided to do a year long read. It's an epistolary novel and the letters inside correspond to dates of the year. The first entry is January 10th and the last is December 18th. The challenge is going to be sticking to the dates. I know at one point or another I will want to leave it be for a while or read fast but I will do my best to stick to the timeline I've set out for myself. 

So this is the schedule I'm aiming for: 

  • Vol. 1: Letters 1-6

  • Vol. 1 - Letters 7-10 

  • Vol. 1 - Letters 11-44 
  • Vol. 2 - Letters 1-28

  • Vol. 2 - Letters 29-48
  • Vol. 3 - Letters 1-62
  • Vol. 4 - Letters 1-6

  • Vol. 4 - Letters 7-55
  • Vol. 5 - Letters 1-9

  • Vol. 5 - Letters 10-36
  • Vol. 6 - Letters 1-51

  • Vol. 6 - Letters 52-73
  • Vol. 7 - Letters 1-63
  • Vol. 7 - Letters 63-84
  • Vol. 8 - Letters 1-47

  • Vol. 8 - Letters 48-71
  • Vol. 9 - Letters 1-48

  • Vol 9 - Letters 49-59

  • Vol 9 - Letters 60-62

  • Vol. 9 - Letters 62-64
  • Conclusion
  • Postscript 

If you've never read Clarissa before or feel like reading it again at a slower pace you are welcome to join me. I'll be writing monthly posts (if all goes to plan which if you've been following me for a while you'll know this is less than probable) and tagging my updates on twitter with #clarissaRA.

I'm also doing a RUSSIAN LITERATURE CHALLENGE which I'm working on now and the post should be up tomorrow or later today. 


  1. I LOVE Clarissa! I hope you enjoy it, good luck! :D

    1. Thanks! I really hope I love it because it's going to be a loooooong project.

  2. Oh rats! I wish I could join you for this one, but I want to read Pamela first and save the best for last. All the best with this year-long project. It looks like so much fun! :-)

    1. I just felt like if I don't read it now I'll keep putting it off and will never read it. But thank you :)!

  3. hmmm.... I think I'm tempted enough to join you! I don't have a blog (yet - working on it!) and I'm not on any form of social media, but who knows? maybe I'll finally pull up my sleeves and make my blog ready by January so I have somewhere to write about this!

    Like you, I have some books which just... call out to me.... but I refuse to listen and avert my eyes in guilt. I've had a copy of "Clarissa" for about 4 years now and I've always wanted to read it. Like you, it's not so much the size, but the density of words, the complexity of the plot over so many pages and potentially the guilt I'd feel if I didn't follow what was going on, or that 500 pages in for the love of God I couldn't remember the beginning of the book! But I think that taking it slowly, taking the time to absorb the words and writing about it to aid the memory would all do the trick and help us both realise that THERE IS NOTHING TO BE SCARED OF. Besides, I've taken four years to dread it - now it's time to take a year and love it!

    So thank you for coming up with the idea! Of course, I could've done it all myself - you know, made the schedule and followed it by myself and all, but it seems like so much more fun to read along with you and others!

    Awesome blog, by the way, I've had it bookmarked for a while :)

    1. Oh, I hope you do! I don't post reviews LOADS but I'm hoping this challenge makes me do so more often. I love talking about books.

      I really hope you can join me because it seems like you're in the exact same headspace regarding Clarissa as I am.

      Oh thank you, thats so nice to hear :)

  4. Well, I'm already half-committed to reading some heavy tomes in 2017, but your schedule for Clarissa is really tempting! I know it's one of those books I'd never opt to read by myself, yet it's always lingering in the background of English literature (with a giant "read me!" sign on it). Will keep this in mind... :)


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