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By Janice Farrar Thaddeus

Frances Burney used to be specially issues a certified author, many-sided and brave. She frequently depicted herself as modest and worried, yet this used to be merely a part of her personality and never crucial half. She embraced inconsistencies and adjusted along with her instances. Her eighty-seven years begun within the reign of George II and ended 5 years after the accession of Queen Victoria. She was once witness to George III's insanity, the trial of Warren Hastings, and the carnage after Waterloo. In her deepest diaries she wrote approximately this and masses else. She pressured at the interpreting public issues they have been scarcely able to settle for. even though she wrote quite often comedy, the themes of her 4 novels and 8 performs are intimate violence, the depredations of the recent funds, and the frustrations bordering on torment skilled via unmarried, middle-class girls. as a result of her novels, acknowledged Edmund Burke, 'writing like a girl' had develop into a praise any guy will be proud to simply accept.

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More than most children, Burney needed a replacement for her mother. The caretaker who briefly watched over the children when Esther Burney died told Frances in 1775 ‘that of the Hundred Children she had had the Care of, she never saw such affliction in one before – that you would take no Comfort – & was almost killed with Crying’ (EJL 2:104). com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromso - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-15 20 21 This bereft child immediately attached herself to Crisp, so intensely that her father called him her ‘Flame’ (EJL 1:8).

Burney was so flattered and uplifted by Thrale’s attentions that she seems not to have realized at what cost the woman whom she knew at Streatham maintained her gaiety. Thrale’s husband had impregnated her often enough to produce 12 living children, of whom only four survived, but though she tried to secure his love, he was phlegmatic and philandering. Burney had noticed that he seemed unhappy. com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromso - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-15 30 31 liked to make married men fall in love with her, and could weep on demand, a single tear if she wished.

She always carefully polished her own status, but her identification with the sufferings of women gradually in time alerted her to the inequities of class. Within Evelina itself, questions of class are more fully and sympathetically considered than this statement would seem to predict. Evelina is experiencing the shudders both of class and gender when she bursts out to the ever-kind Lord Orville, ‘O my Lord . . ’ (p. 314)26 In 1778, however, the shock of publication was new, and – at least as regards her own social position as author – Burney’s sheltered snobbery was largely intact.

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