Frances 'Fanny' Burney (1752-1840) was one of the leading cultural figures of eighteenth-century London. Her enormously successful novel Evelina, written in her mid-twenties, creates a magical picture of the particularly clever, vigorous and leisured society at whose heart she stood. First publishing anonymously, her own father did not know that she was the writer of Evelina until its successful reception encouraged her to reveal her secret. One of the great letter-writers and conversationalists of the period, Burney was also the author of the novels Cecilia and Camilla, and was a major influence on Jane Austen.
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