Samuel Richardson (1689 - 1761) was born in Derbyshire, the son of a joiner. He received little formal education and in 1706 was apprenticed to a printer in London, going on to become one of the leading fgures in the printing trade. He is best known now for his three epistolary novels, Pamela, Clarissa and The History of Sir Charles Grandison. He began writing Pamela as a result of a suggestion from friends that he should compile a book of model letters for use by unskilled writers. It was a bestseller of its time but also caused some sensation due to its apparently licentious nature. Indeed, along with Milton, Voltaire, Sartre and many more, Richardson was included in the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a list of texts forbidden to Catholic readers which was established by the Pope in the 1550s and formally abolished in 1966.