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This painting shows the high point of the first part of Richardson’s novel. Having failed in his attempts to seduce Pamela, Mr B sees the error of his ways and becomes a reformed man. The couple marry in secret in Mr B’s private chapel. On Pamela’s left is her humble but dignified father, who gives her away. In the background, behind Mr B, is the housekeeper Mrs Jewkes, now also a reformed character. She grasps a bottle of smelling salts in case she is overwhelmed with emotion.

May 2007