Evelina / Edition 1

Evelina / Edition 1

3.8 28
by Frances Burney

ISBN-10: 0312097298

ISBN-13: 9780312097295

Pub. Date: 03/15/1997

Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

This edition reprints the text of Burney's classic novel together with a broad selection of documents on life in eighteenth-century England that have been carefully chosen to put the work in its historical and cultural context. Special attention is given to eighteenth-century conduct literature, including Burney's own reactions to her society's codes of behavior

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This edition reprints the text of Burney's classic novel together with a broad selection of documents on life in eighteenth-century England that have been carefully chosen to put the work in its historical and cultural context. Special attention is given to eighteenth-century conduct literature, including Burney's own reactions to her society's codes of behavior for the young lady. In addition, the documents include first hand descriptions of fashionable English society at the end of the eighteenth century from observers both inside and ouside of its folds as well as materials on the often violent underside of the British trade and military expansion that helped construct the fashionable world Burney's heroine enters. A general introduction providing historical and culural background, a chronology of Burney's life and times, introductions to each thematic group of documents, headnotes, extensive annotations, a selected bibligraphy, and a generous selection of maps and illustations make this volume a definitive scholarly edition of this classic work of eighteenth-century literature.

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Product Details

Bedford/St. Martin's
Publication date:
Bedford Cultural Editions Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume
List of Illustrations


Introduction: Cultural and Historical Background

Chronology of Burney's Life and Times

A Note on the Text

Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World [First Edition, January 1778]


1. The Young Lady
For the Young Lady
James Fordyce, "On the Importance of the Female Sex"
Thomas Gisborne, "On the Mode of Introducing Young Women into General Society"
Thomas Gisborne, "On the Employment of Time"
By the Young Lady
Frances Burney, An Unwanted Proposal of Marriage
Frances Burney, Directions for Coughing and Sneezing before the King and Queen

2. The Fashionable World
Making Fashion
Richard Campbell, From The London Tradesman
Joseph Addison, On the Royal Exchange (The Spectator, No. 69)
Joseph Addison, The Influence of French Fashions (The Spectator, No. 45)
Oliver Goldsmith, On London Shops (From The Citizen of the World)
Henry Fielding, People of Fashion (From The Covent-Garden Journal)
Placing Fashion
Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, On the London Theatre, (From The Spectator, Nos. 240, 245, and 502)
Anonymous, From A Sketch of the Spring-Gardens, Vaux-hall
Oliver Goldsmith, On a Visit to Vauxhall Gardens (From The Citizen of the World)
Tobias Smollett, On a Visit to Bath (From Humphry Clinker)
Christopher Anstey, From The New Bath Guide

3. Beyond the Fashionable World
Visitors to London
César de Saussure, From A Foreign View of England in the Reigns of George I and George II
W. de Archenholtz, From A Picture of England
Carl Phillip Moritz, From Travels, Chiefly on Foot, Through Several Parts of England, in 1782
Thomas Campbell, From Dr. Campbell's Diary of a Visit to England in 1775
Seafaring Men
James Anthony Gardner, Voyages of a Seaman
Edward Boscawen, Waging War against France
Thomas Pasley, A Voyage to the Cape of Good Hope
Olaudah Equiano, Serving with the English Navy

Selected Bibliography

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Evelina 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a wonderful novel. I had an equal share of drama, romance and, of course, humor. The characters are wondefully done. Mrs. Sewlyn, Madame Duval, the Branghtons and Captain Mirvan are done superbly. Even though it is done in letters, don't let that discourage you. It's not like any other letters. They have lots of detail so the reader is able to get a good picture of it in their head. However, it doesn't have too much description to make awfully dull and lifeless. Evelina is between Jane Austen and the Bronte's novels. They have that elegant sence like Austen novels but also have Bronte drama (but not too much drama.)People who like 'clean' novels are in for this. Even though it might be a little racy in the beginning between the English and French nothing else is wrong with it. No cursing, sexual scenes or anything like that. The only thing I did not like about it was probably that everyone LOVED her. Someone is always trying to get her to love the guy. Sir Clement Willouby, Lord Orville, Lord Merton and Monsieur de Bois are some of them. Other than that, it was a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This tale begins on a winter day when the Rev. Villars (Evelina's guardian) receives the unwelcome news that Evelina's grandmother, Madame Duval, wishes to gain custody of her long lost granddaughter. For the last sixteen years since her birth in Rev. Villar's home Evelina has been cloistered in the township of Berry Hill - a land of innocence and happiness like the biblical Eden. In the spring Evelina travels with friends to London where her angelic beauty attracts much attention. Soon after her arrival she is invited to a private ball. While preparing for the ball as she frizzles her hair and puts on a party gown Evelina grows increasingly self-conscious because she is unused to mixing in the circle of high life. The adventures of that evening are hilarious and also painful to read. But Evelina laughs it off the next morning with her best friend. This novel explores the dark side of life but never loses its light-hearted, comical tone. London is not what Evelina had expected and a few months later she writes: 'I shall be very glad to quit this town.' Soon after, on her last day in the city Evelina receives a shocking letter that plunges her into the depths of depression. She laments to find herself in 'a world so deceitful, where we must suspect what we see, distrust what we hear, and doubt even what we feel!' Evelina travels back to her native Berry Hill broken-hearted and inconsolable. The Rev. Villars saddened by the change he observes in his ward states 'I see but too plainly, that though Evelina is returned, -- I have lost my child!' And he attempts to end her distress by prophesying '¿doubt not but that time will stand your friend, and all will end well.' The Rev. Villar's prophecy comes true and before two months have passed Evelina's spirits are restored. Evelina triumphs over every obstacle that she encounters during her adventures. This is partly because of luck but mostly because of her virtue, strength of character, and purity of heart. In the closing line of her last letter to her beloved guardian she writes the magical words 'All is over¿the chaise now waits¿' This novel is both a fairy tale and a black comedy. It was written in the eighteenth century and offers a fascinating view of that time period. Part of the charm of this story is that it is written as a series of letters - all ending with closings like 'Your most obedient and most humble servant.' Fanny Burney has populated this story with many fascinating characters ranging from the motherly Rev. Villars, the virago Madame Duval, the sadistic Captain Mirvan, the two-faced Sir Clement Willoughby, the sardonic Mrs. Selwyn, and the noble hero Lord Orville. Evelina can be classified as a romance novel but it will appeal to both women and men, the young and old, the jaded and the innocent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a classic and I love this book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading the book but there were too many places with garbled characters. It needs to be edited to make it more readable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gemma_Tudor More than 1 year ago
This book is by far my most favorite book that I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I've read thousands of books, and this trumps them all. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It has romance, courage, comedy, and adventure; everything that an avid reader looks for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One cannot help but simpathize with Evelina when she tries so hard but always seems to get into awkward (and sometimes humorous) situations. I think it is a very good book and I recomend it to anyone who enjoys classical literature. As soon as I picked it up I could not put it down!
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The_Felicitous_Readings More than 1 year ago
MOVE ASIDE JANE AUSTEN!! - This was a small novel written by Frances Burney, then called Fanny, that she feared would never be published or read. It should not be overlooked! It is written as a collection of letters from main character to main character about one young woman's introduction into society, Evelina. She is young and beautiful and has been a victim to harsh injustices yet is unmared and unblemished and has remained protected and innocent by protection from her adoptive father. How will she cope in London Society? What prospective marriage match can an illegitemate daughter make when her own father and grandmother refuse to acknowledge her birthright? Its wonderful!
SarahJay More than 1 year ago
I was obligated to read this book for my 18th century British Literature class. Needless to say, I was not expecting to be enthralled in the least, however I could not have been more wrong. Once I picked it up I quite literally could not put it down. "Evelina" reads just as quickly and easily as any modern-day romance novel, and while reading it I could not help but be reminded of a certain Jane Austen novel. After reading "Evelina" it seems quite apparent where Austen got her inspiration for the dashing Mr. Darcy. I recommend this book to any Austen fan, but also to anyone who is interested in romance novels with a little bit more culture and intellectual stimulation.

(Sidenote: "Evelina" is an epistolary novel, and normally I'm not into that kind of story-telling, but this book seems to be the exception to most rules).
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those who love Jane Austen, here comes a novel from the woman she loved best! Burney's Evelina is an epistolary novel (novel of letters) which is 'standard' for women authors during the late-eighteenth century. However, Burney (and Evelina) subverts this form even as she writes in it! At times a biting social satire, at others a comedy of manners, Burney's first novel will no doubt delight any reader, whether an Austen fan or not. While it is captivating as a first novel, Cecilia is, arguably, one of the best novels ever written...and Austen fans will find elements of all her six novels in this one Burney text.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love Evelina! I have found it entertaining from cover to cover more than once. Because of the epistolary form, the reader is able to understand the thoughts of Evelina in a way that Jane Austen never managed to do. Evelina's story is also an interesting window into the customs and etiquette of 18th century society.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fanny Burney is a witty precursor to Jane Austen, and any who love Austen's work will love Burney's even more. Evelina is a charming and funny story. It is an epistolary novel, which may discourage some readers. However, it does not drag, as many other epistolary novels do. Action, humor, and suspense fill the novel. However, for a more traditional novel, read Cecelia by Burney. Do not be afraid of its length, for it is worth every minute of it. Camilla also is good, though not quite as enjoyable as Cecelia.