Saturday 6 October 2018

Book Review: Evelina by Fanny Burney (Classics)

Title: Evelina
Author: Fanny Burney
Dover Publications

Publication Date: 2015 (1778)
Bought Copy


Written in the form of letters, this 1778 novel chronicles a young woman's transition from provincial life into the smart sets of London and a resort community near Bristol. A witty satire of 18th-century society, the story marks a significant precursor to the works of Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth.

I enjoyed every minute of Evelina. It was witty and fun--a heavy satire, yet one with plenty of heart. I thought the balance of satire and farce worked well, and the characters were all beautifully drawn. The story ended in the way I'd hoped it would, and I closed the final page with a smile on my face. You can see how Burney's writing influenced Jane Austen, and I would certainly like to read more of it myself. The only difficultly I had was the character of Lord Orville, simple because when I think 'Orville', I picture the large green bird from TV. :)

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