Fanny Burney: Her Life by Kate Chisholm - review by Victoria Glendinning

Victoria Glendinning

A True Heroine of Her Time

Fanny Burney: Her Life


Chatto & Windus 330pp £20 order from our bookshop

Fanny Burney who was born in 1852, is one of those figures of whom most people have heard, but about whom rather little is generally known. Her first two novels, Evelina and Cecilia, astute and risqué comedies of manners, were immediately popular, though when she told her father she was writing a book 'he could not help laughing', and it is for her diaries that she is most enjoyed today. 

Evelina, published when Fanny was twenty-six, made her famous for life, and nothing she wrote after Cecilia ever quite hit the jackpot like those first wild successes. Her reputation has been revived in recent years; four of her novels are available in Oxford World's Classics. I haven't read any of

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