Author(s): Frances Burney
'O Sir, how much uneasiness must I suffer, to counterbalance one short morning of happiness!' In this comic and sharply incisive satire of excess and affectations, beautiful young Evelina falls victim to the rakish advances of Sir Clement Willoughby on her entrance to the world of fashionable London. Colliding with the manners and customs of a society she doesn't understand, she finds herself without hope that she should ever deserve the attention of the man she loves. Frances Burney's first novel brilliantly sends up eighteenth-century society - and its opinions of women - while enticingly depicting its delights. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
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.