Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pamplet*, Pamphet* (for Pamphlet*)

Topping 800 pages, Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, by Samuel Richardson, is quite a bit more than a pamphlet. It's considered the first "epistolary novel" (comprising a series of letters), a genre that became popular after the publication of this book in 1740. Pamela, although not exactly a nymphet (fifteen years old at the time of her employ), is a very "comely" lass, for whom the work of defending her virginity proves rather more arduous than her assigned household tasks. We got 44 hits on Pamplet* in OhioLINK and 18 on Pamphet* (with a corresponding 1,166 and 271 in WorldCat). However, I suspect there are some false positives (names, foreign words) in there, especially among that 1000+ group. If you'll take the time today to find and correct these typographical errors in your own catalog, your efforts should be appreciated by your employer. In any event, virtuous spelling is its own reward.

(Illustration from Pamela: or, Virtue rewarded, in a series of Familiar Letters from a Beautiful Young Damsel to her Parents, by Samuel Richardson, 1741, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid