This precursor to the works of Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth takes a witty look at romance and womanhood in eighteenth-century high society.
Denied by her aristocratic libertine father and raised by a clergyman in the English countryside, Evelina Anville is a stranger to fashionable London society. But with the arrival of her eighteenth year comes the time for her formal debut, whether or not she—or London—is ready. Through a series of societal faux pas, Evelina learns about the complexities of society and attracts the eyes of dashing and distinguished bachelors. Still, landing a man in the city won’t be easy . . .
This epistolary novel was the first by satirist Fanny Burney, acclaimed for her talent for comic fiction as well as her diaries chronicling eighteenth-century life among the aristocracy, in particular the struggles of women.
Born Frances Burney, Fanny Burney (1752–1840) was an English author of satirical novels and plays. Burney was self-educated and began writing at the age of ten. She moved between literary circles and learned about the art of writing from her peers. At the age of twenty-six, she anonymously published the novel Evelina, which became an instant hit and an inspiration for Jane Austen’s writing. After revealing her identity as the author of Evelina, Burney released Cecilia to less acclaim. In 1802, she visited France with her husband and son, and due to the Napoleonic Wars, was forced to stay in the country for ten years. Burney spent the remainder of her life in London, where she published her father’s memoirs prior to her death.
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