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Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) was a major English 18th century writer. He had been an established printer and publisher for most of his life when, at the age of 51, he wrote his first novel and immediately became one of the most popular and admired writers of his time. In 1733 he wrote The Apprentice's Vade Mecum, urging young men like himself to be diligent and self-denying. Written in response to the Epidemick Evils of the Present Age, the text is best known for its condemnation of popular forms of entertainment including theatres, taverns and gambling. He is best known for his three epistolary novels: Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (1740), Clarissa Harlowe; or, The History of a Young Lady (1748) and Sir Charles Grandison (1753). The popularity of Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded was mainly due to the effective technique of revealing the story through letters written by the protagonist.Clarissa Harlowe; or, The History of a Young Lady has generally been the most highly regarded by critics; in it, Richardson uses the epistolary form with great effectiveness, creating characters that are psychologically convincing while reflecting on some of the most important moral questions of the 18th century.