Fanny Burney

(1752—1840) writer

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Fanny Anne Burney (1812—1860) diarist


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daughter of Dr Burney, lived in her youth in the midst of that London society which included Dr Johnson, Burke, Reynolds, Garrick, and the Blue Stocking Circle. In 1778 she published anonymously her first novel Evelina, and the revelation of its authorship brought her immediate fame. She published Cecilia in 1782, and in 1786 was appointed second keeper of the robes to Queen Charlotte. In 1793 she married General d'Arblay, a French refugee in England. Camilla was published in 1796. She and her husband were interned by Napoleon and lived in France from 1802 to 1812. In 1832 she edited the Memoirs of her father. She was a prodigious writer of lively letters and journals: her Early Diary 1768–1778 (1889) includes sketches of Johnson, Garrick, and others; her later Diary and Letters…1778–1840 (1842–6) has a vivid account of her life at court.

Her three major novels take as their theme the entry into the world of a young girl of beauty and understanding but no experience, and expose her to circumstances and events that develop her character; they display, with a satirical eye and a sharp ear for dialogue, the varied company in which she finds herself.

Subjects: Literature.

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Works by Fanny Burney