University of Virginia Library


One of the oddest contemporary references to Richardson appears in an obscure tale of low life in London, The Life and Imaginations of Sally Paul, which bears the imprint, "London: Printed for S. Hooper, at Caesar's-Head, near the New Church, in the Strand. 1760." The caption-title is "The History of Sarah Paul." I do not find this title recorded in any bibliography, but there is a copy in the Fondren Library, The Rice Institute. Sally, a prostitute, lives with an old man, and the wretched couple are trying to eke out an existence in the City. She is disguised as a boy.

The winter preceding, and while we were on the London side of the


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water, we were in the same manner distressed for work, he then applied to Mr. Richardson, the parliament printer, in Fleet-street, and worked for him at the Press a considerable time, in a business quite new to him, while I had the honour to attend the same press in the capacity of a devil, and I do assure you executed my part with as much dexterity as any imp in those black regions could pretend to.[9]
The reference to parliamentary printing and the location of the press 'in Fleet-street' (really in White Lion Court, running from Fleet Street to Salisbury Square) identify the printing house of the novelist, who thus makes an appearance in a work of which he would have heartily disapproved.