I wrote my senior seminar/undergrad thesis/exit research paper for my history B.A. on how the novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740) by Samuel Richardson influenced human rights legislation in the 18th century. It’s more interesting than it sounds! Basically it’s all about how reading — especially reading this particular novel — changes readers’ minds, helps them recognize the worth of others. If you’re interested in history, human rights, literature/reading/books, or any intersection of those things, then this project is for you! My full paper was 22 pages; these posts are segmented, rearranged, and reworded to be more blog-friendly.
This series is now complete — stay tuned for follow-ups!
Novels & Human Rights:
- Part 1: The First Novels
- Part 2: The Pamela Media Bomb
- Part 3: Realism
- Part 4: Is Reading Good or Bad? (Richardson’s Intended Effects)
- Part 5: Mechanisms of Reading and Empathy
- Part 6: Historical Context (The Book Trade)
- Part 7: Historical Context (Social)
- Part 8: Causal Links and Conclusion
- Selected Bibliography/Resource Reviews
Behind the Scenes: