Editorial Reviews for this title:
Frances Burney's first and most enduringly popular novel is a vivid, satirical, and seductive account of the pleasures and dangers of fashionable life in late eighteenth-century London. As she describes her heroine's entry into society, womanhood and, inevitably, love, Burney exposes the vulnerability of female innocence in an image-conscious and often cruel world where social snobbery and sexual aggression are played out in the public arenas of pleasure-gardens, theatre visits, and balls. But Evelina's innocence also makes her a shrewd commentator on the excesses and absurdities of manners and social ambitions--as well as attracting the attention of the eminently eligible Lord Orville.
Evelina, comic and shrewd, is at once a guide to fashionable London, a satirical attack on the new consumerism, an investigation of women's position in the late eighteenth century, and a love story. The new introduction and full notes to this edition help make this richness all the more readily available to a modern reader.
The Broadview Literary Texts series is an effort to represent the ever-changing canon of literature in English by bringing together texts long regarded as classics with valuable, though lesser-known literature
From the Publisher
A work by turns hilarious and grim, Evelina tells the story of a young woman's education in the ways of the world, vividly rendering life in eighteenth-century England. Raised by a pastor after her mother died and her father abandoned her, Evelina leaves the seclusion of the country for her first season out, encounters all manner of people–from prospective husbands to rakes to vulgar relatives–and endures all manner of trials before she achieves her final triumph.
"Before Evelina," W. D. Howells proclaimed, "the heart of girlhood had never been so fully opened in literature." Samuel Johnson called Burney "a real wonder" and Thomas Babington Macaulay wrote, "We owe to [Burney], not only Evelina, Cecilia, and Camilla, but also Mansfield Park and The Absentee."
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