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Topic Modeling of Pamela

3 min read

After generating the first set of topics with the numbers given from the assignment, I noticed that they were all mostly the ones we had discussed in class so going through the chunks in the folder finding Pamela and decided to go through two chunks from the beginning and two from the end to compare them and see how they change. Since my mind categorizes things easier when they are in smaller pieces (and because the first run took half an hour on my computer), I chose to use 10 topics, 200 iterations, and 10 topic words for these Pamela chunk runs. I also included the stopwords list in all of my runs because the one practice run I ran without stopwords was overpowered with words that I did not find meaning in. (commas added to create more meaning/ how my brain created meaning)

First Run

  • [The Pamela Topic] : mrs master dear good poor pamela lady mr ll sir hope jewkes god letter jervis don williams goodness thought mother

  • [$$$] : money made time house means interest pounds present fortune thousand sum obliged hundred favour order paid found person put case

Beginning of Pamela

  • [leaving for class]: good life, mourning bed, god kind, loss grieved, part early
  • [Russet Potato Pamela] : crying praised indulge bring ashamed feared hard russet parents harm
  • [Everything Dreary] : english poor died trouble crying picture slightest sentiments marked created
  • [Dreary as well..]: tears afraid, back story wanted rest, reason heart silly matter

Ending of Pamela

  • [where did those 9 months go?] : saturday mother, thursday receive relation, reading remorse, mind married london

  • [epistolary plot-twist] : dear reward, born character wife unforeseen, reduced examples, lasted piety

  • [Pamela found God in Jamaica, ...when?] : leave jamaica, meeting earnest, story pleasure, gloucester set, received almighty (where did jamaica come in from?)
  • [Happy ending] : calne happy glad baby happily agreed lying reformation gracious present

Looking at the chunks from the beginning and ending of Pamela was interesting to track the changes as the topics did have a definite shift in connotation to them (the words generated from the beginning of Pamela were darker while the words generated from the ending were lighter in feeling). However, I tried to get chunks that were fairly separate from each other as I was not sure how much of the beginning or ending the chunks contained. The ending topics mostly seemed to focus on a light and happy mood and also on the child while those generated from the beginning relate how Pamela was constantly being attacked and afraid for her virtue although the word virtue only appeared once in my lists. I am not sure if these lists can fully support Armstrong’s argument however they did exhibit features that are more individual based and do not contain any mention of any economic connotations. A lot of the topics generated at the end of Pamela focus primarily on maternal aspects. I also thought it was interesting how I instantly related all the words in the topics to words regarding Pamela rather than Mr. B who constitutes a large presence in the novel. This is probably a result of the novel being mostly told in her words and everything Mr. B does is told in her response to it.


Descriptive Bibliography

1 min read

Craven, Elizabeth, Baroness. Modern anecdote of the ancient family of the Kinkvervankotsdarsprakengotchderns: a tale for Christmas 1779. Dedicated to the Honorable Horace Walpole, Esq;. 1st ed. London: 1779.

MODERN ANECDOTE | OF THE | ANCIENT FAMILY | OF THE | Kinkvervankotsdarsprakengotchderns: | A TALE | FOR | CHRISTMAS 1779. | Dedicated to the Honorable | HORACE WALPOLE, Esq; | [double rule] | LONDON: | Printed for the AUTHOR; | And Sold by M. DAVENHILL, No. 13, Cornhill; | J. BEW, Pater-Noster-Row; and the Booksellers in | Town and Country.

Collation 4mo. Vol 1. A6 , B-I4 , K-L4 , M2 , 95 leaves, pp. i [ii-vi] 12-84


  • A1 title

  • A2r-A6v dedication

  • B1r-M2v text

  • M2v half end page


  • London : printed for the author; and sold by M. Davenhill, No 13, Cornhill ; J. Bew, Pater-Noster-Row; and the Booksellers in Town and Country

  • Microfilm Reel#: Eighteenth Century Collections Online: Range 1877

  • Physical Description: [12]. 84p: 8°

  • ESTC Number: T068887

  • Source Library: British Library

  • Lines and images found were not given dimensions as only a digital copy was available.

  • The dedication pages were not numbered and the text pages where paginated with brackets.

  • Half end page: contains the words “FINIS.” and a library stamp of an oblong octagonal frame with the words “MVSEVM BRITANICVM” inside.


Exercise 5

5 min read

The bibliography speaks not just for the novel but also for the audience (at least from a critic’s perspective) through the CR and MR snippets. Although coming from a very specific voice, it is still very informative for a 21st century reader to see the novel through an 18th century lens. What first stood out to me scrolling through the titles was how the audience of each novel was clearly gendered and most of the novels listed seemed to want to function largely as a moral book or, at least, overly emphasize that it would set an example, or would not demoralize, the young reader (that said, a lot of novels still contained the Robinson Crusoe-esque titles, capitalizing on the novel through the title’s exclamatory mini history summary of the protagonist/plot). What was particularly interesting was that, although there was not a clear minority of female authors, there was a large majority of reviews for novels written by female authors that emphasized that she was writing well above her station as a female. Furthermore, before this class I never realized the prominence of epistolary writing, however as most of the novels we have read so far as well as a large portion of the novels in the bibliographical survey are epistolary novels, I thought this was interesting as a sort of subgenre. I noticed that there were a few novels that had anonymous authors while other novels inserted the author’s name right into the title of the book. This raises the question for me of how often did authors chose to be anonymous or were pen names utilized? From the beginning of my perusal of the novel, Harcourt; a sentimental novel in a series of letters by the authoress of Evelina, the letters were signed by only the men’s name or the salutation was included within the text: “at all events, until you have attained some degree of sprightliness, boast not of a friend in, Augustus Richmond” (23). For the female characters, their salutation, “and if you should ever be tempted to love, think of your friend, Your Harriet” (28), does not include their last name (similar to how Pamela and Evelina signed their letters) and it is preceded by “your” which connotes ownership and subservience in comparison to the solely male name. However, as I continued to flip through the novel the salutations between the genders flipped and it depended on the gender of the sender how the salutations were addressed. The female to female were signed with “you” plus no last name, male to male without salutation with full name, male to female “your” with only last name, and female to male with the full name without any salutations. (I only investigated this trend for the first thirty pages or so). In Louisa Wharton. A story founded on facts: written by herself, in a series of letters to a friend… the title (or title plus the entire summary of the novel) makes up the title page in a Pamela-esque tradition similar to how Richardson laid out a detailed table of contents explaining the main points of each section, the moral lesson of each section seems to not be present in Louisa Wharton. It does, however, also play on the emphasis and appearance that this novel is not based on reality but is reality. The transference of letters within letters appears to be a constant occurrence. In The unfortunate union: or, the test of virtue. A story founded on facts, and calculated to promote the cause of virtue in younger minds. Written by a Lady. What this novel’s “title” does is immediately disclaim its realism and rather accentuates its truth based on reality even having “printed for Richardson and Urquhart” on the title page to emphasize Richardson’s attempt to present his story as real, actual letters. What is further interesting about this novel is how it is “written by a LADY” rather than have the actual author’s name. Why would the editor emphasize the gender of the author? While it does elevate her status somewhat by the emphasis on “LADY”, it also subverts the author’s presence as a person, as an individual without acknowledgement of her name and instead of her gender. The odd novel in my search, Otho and Rutha: a dramatic tale. By Miss Edwards, while not epistolary, was particularly interesting because it listed all the characters by gender in the preface which I had not encountered before in a novel (it seems more of a play characteristic). What was also interesting that this novel also seemed to want to sell the idea that this novel was written by a female as all my previous examples did. The emergence of the female author seems a large selling point at this time period. For the Artemis assignment, I looked through the years 1775-1800 and 1750-1899 (on a side note when I forgot to limit the results to fiction, the majority of books seemed to relating to law, I wonder how other book genres influenced the novel if at all). What was particularly interesting about this search was the dominance of “lady” and “history” in the Term Clusters. For the Term Frequency section, I looked at “fact” and” facts” along with “lady” and “ladies” both of which had an increase in term frequency. These two terms seem to build with the rise of Robinson Crusoe and then of Evelina in the sense of pushing the realism in the novels, emphasizing and selling the idea that this is a “true story” but also emphasizing and selling the idea of a female author. I wonder if it is true that the novels claiming to have female authors actually do similar to the novels claiming to be based on facts, to gain the attention of the female audience.


S = F: In my head and in the computer's

3 min read

By analyzing chapter twenty in Tristram Shandy I wanted to see how the OCR would react in converting French words and accents to text (because I was not, and am still not, certain of the the process an OCR program takes to recognize alphabetical letters in an image, I was not sure if it analyzed the image by word context or by specific letters) and this chapter contained two letters written in French. Using both ABBEY and Google Docs to perform my OCR analysis, I was actually quite impressed. While ABBEY did not always use correct accent marks the words themselves were generally spelled correctly (besides,of course, those words with the odd f shaped s). While there were other small mistakes the OCRs made such as there was a large consistency of a mix-up between letters and numbers, I am mainly interested in how the OCR would work with texts in other languages, if it is largely English based or if it would even work with character based languages like Chinese or non-roman alphabets such as Korean Hangul? For novels (or even just books in general) like Tristram Shandy where there are additional decorations, symbols, pictures, and/or oddities, a digital facsimile can flatten out these special characteristics of the book similar to how the NER and My Maps flattens out the content by presenting to the reader what is literally written rather than the ideas and concepts that are subliminally inserted into our reading. This is further flattened out again in the process of returning the digital to the printed text. While this process allows the novel to be easily distributed it also subtracts the quirkiness, the hidden details of the novel. Yes, technology now allows amazing graphics and symbols to be easily added to a novel in the present time but transitioning these graphics from the eighteenth century from print to digital to print again is not completely possible for a computing program quite yet. It is not easy for a program to interpret abstract symbols into text. How much are we losing in the process of transitioning from working with an image to working with text. What exactly are we losing? Creativity? Individualism? A humanistic quality? OCR programs generally try to find textual context that it can translate but what if what it is trying to interpret textually has a greater purpose? Is it another thing that is lost in translation?