"Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded" is an epistolary novel (a novel written as a series of letters) by Samuel Richardson, first published in 1740. It tells the story of a beautiful 15-year old maidservant named Pamela Andrews, whose nobleman master, Mr. B, makes unwanted advances towards her after the death of his mother, whose maid she was since age 12.
Mr. B is infatuated with her, first by her looks and then her innocence and intelligence, but his high rank hinders him from proposing marriage. He abducts her, locks her up in one of his estates, and attempts to seduce and rape her. She rejects him continually, but starts to realize that she is falling in love with him. He intercepts her letters to her parents; reading them, he becomes even more enamored by her innocence, intelligence, and continuous escape attempts.
Her virtue is eventually rewarded when he sincerely proposes an equitable marriage to her. In the novel's second part, Pamela attempts to build a successful relationship with him and to acclimate to upperclass society. The story, a bestseller of its time, was very widely read but criticized for its perceived licentiousness.