At the beginning of 1778, twenty-five-year-old Fanny Burney, second daughter of England's most eminent musicologist, Dr Charles Burney, was an unknown. By the year's end, however, she had emerged from his shadow as the author of Evelina, or, A Yound Lady's Entrance into the World, a universally acclaimed novel which admirers ranked with the works of Fielding and Richardson. The present volume - the third of a projected twelve-volume
critical edition of Burney's earlier journals and letters - covers the period from January 1778 to December 1779. It reveals her striking transformation into a `celebrity' as she is welcomed into London's literary society, and her mixed delight and terror at this reception. As Burney becomes a regular at
the Streatham Park home of Henry and Hester Thrale, she is befriended by another regular visitior, Samuel Johnson, and given the opportunity to observe and record the playful and affectionate side of Johnson's character, a side largely missed by Boswell. Urged by the Streathamites to write a comedy for the London stage, she responds with `The Witlings', a satiric portrait of London's bluestockings. Alarmed by the prospect of disapproval from the powerful bluestocking Elizabeth Montagu,
Burney's father and her friend Samuel Crisp dissuade her from releasing the piece. Her disappointment is eased by the whirling social life that she enjoys in the company of the Thrales at Streatham and at Brighton, and on which she comments with characteristic perception and humour.
by making so much new material available to the modern reader, the editors have also supplied a new source of additions to the OED. There are many footnotes to the text in which such additions are discussed...Of the many hundreds of names mentioned in the journals and letters only about a handful remain unidentified. this testifies to the great care with which the editors have undertaken their job and their wide knowlege of the period in which Fanny Burney
lived. As a result, it is now possible to study the social networks of the many people mentioned by Fanny Burney in her Journals in considerable detail. By editions such as these the analysis of eighteenth century English along the lines of sociohistorical linguistics will be much facilitated. s English
`35 per cent of this volume consists of previously unpublished text ... Academics and general readers alike will welcome this valuable addition to an immensely worthwhile project. Scrupulously edited and a fund of useful and lively information, this is an excellent and exemplary work.'
Harriet Jump, Edge Hill College, Review of English Studies, Vol. XLVII, No. 188, Nov '96
Series: Early Journals & Letters of Fanny Burney
Number Of Pages: 498
Published: 25th August 1994
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.4
Weight (kg): 0.78