Shamela Background

Shamela Background

An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamel Andrews, or better known simply as Shamela, is a satirical novel published in 1741. Published by Conny Keyber, it is believed that the writer is Henry Fielding and he published the novel under a pen name.

The novel Shamela is a direct attack to the then-popular novel Pamela written by Samuel Richardson. Both novels are written in the epistolary form. While Pamela focuses on the life of a young virtuous girl who refuses to accept her employer’s offer to have an affair with him, Shamela presents a completely different type of character, a girl who tries to seduce her boss.

In Shamela, we are presented with the background story of Pamela, and we are told that Pamela is a prostitute whose true name is Shamela as she plots to trap squire Bobby into marring her.

Shamela is not the only satire written in response to Pamela, many believing that the novel written by Samuel Richardson was too pious. Eliza Haywood is another author who in 1741 published a similar novel to Shamela and named it The Anti-Pamela: or Feign’d Innocence Detached.

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