Novelist and playwright Frances (Fanny) Burney, 1752–1840, was a literary sensation in her lifetime, admired by the likes of Johnson, Byron and Sheridan. She was also a prolific writer of journals and letters, beginning with the diary she started at fifteen and continuing for seventy years until the end of her eventful life.
From her youth in London society, to a period in the court of Queen Charlotte and her years interned in France with her husband during the Napoleonic Wars, she captured the changing times around her, creating brilliantly comic and candid portraits of those she encountered – including the ‘mad’ King George, Samuel Johnson and a charismatic Napoleon Bonaparte. She also describes, in her most moving piece, undergoing a mastectomy at fifty-nine without anaesthetic. Whether a carefree young girl or a mature woman, Fanny Burney’s forthright, intimate and wickedly perceptive voice brings her world powerfully to life.
Note on the Text
Journals and Letters
1768-1777 The Apprentice Years
1778-1781 Evelina and Streatham Park
1782-1786 Cecilia and Prelude to the Court
1786-1791 The Court Years
1791-1792 London and the Western Tour
1793-1795 Courtship and Marriage
1796-1802 Camilla and Camilla Cottage
1802-1812 Ten Years in France
1812-1814 Interlude in England: The Wanderer
1815-1818 Final Yeras with d'Arblay