Evelina

Introduction

Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World is a novel written by English author Fanny Burney and first published in 1778. Although published anonymously, its authorship was revealed by the poet George Huddesford in what Burney called a "vile poem".[1]

In this 3-volume epistolary novel, title character Evelina is the unacknowledged but legitimate daughter of a dissipated English aristocrat, thus raised in rural seclusion until her 17th year. Through a series of humorous events that take place in London and the resort town of Hotwells, near Bristol, Evelina learns to navigate the complex layers of 18th-century society and earn the love of a distinguished nobleman. This sentimental novel, which has notions of sensibility and early romanticism, satirizes the society in which it is set and is a significant precursor to the work of Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth, whose novels explore many of the same issues.


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