HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Evelina by Fanny Burney
Loading...

Evelina (original 1778; edition 1967)

by Fanny Burney, Lewis Gibbs

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,581284,619 (3.77)120
Member:JVioland
Title:Evelina
Authors:Fanny Burney
Other authors:Lewis Gibbs
Info:Everyman's Library, No. 352
Collections:Your library, Everyman's Library
Rating:****
Tags:own, 2nd

Work details

Evelina by Frances Burney (1778)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 120 mentions

English (27)  French (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
I rated this a solid "B" after I read it. Now, less than 2 years later, I cannot recall a single thing about it. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Evelina does not wear well with time, unlike Austen heroines. In fact, Evelina herself is very wearing. She is prone to tongue-tied shyness (which comes across as vapidity); she is utterly dependent on others for her opinions (Elizabeth Bennett would kick her to the curb); she prefers to faint, blush, weep, and vacillate between humiliating embarrassment and embarrassing humiliation than assert herself or withstand an importunity (Emma would wash her hands of her).

What possessed Ms Burney to ever try to make a heroine out of such unheroic material, I don't know. How she contrives to get (or if she ever does get) Evelina, the perpetual ingenue into competent adulthood I don't know either, because I'm 70% through the book and am feeling the feelings that Elizabeth and Emma would feel.

I am not surprised that the world of literature did little note nor long remember Evelina's entrance into it when the likes of Elizabeth and Emma made their respective entrances. ( )
1 vote Limelite | Jun 28, 2014 |
I'll admit that reading 18th century fiction is sometimes harder than I'd like it to be. The authors either don't know, or just don't abide by, the rules of fiction that we're all used to. But more and more often I'm struck instead by the sheer joy and verve that animates 18th century novels, and that often seems to have gone missing in the twentieth century--and, obviously, this very much the case with Evelina. There's not a whole lot of unity to the tale, and there are plenty of scenes that Burney includes for no reason other than that they're funny and or mortifying (e.g., random monkey attack towards the end of the novel. No, really.) But it turns out that the funniness, sentiment and mortification of these scenes is more than enough justification. Burney is funnier than Fielding, more touching than Richardson, and a better writer than everyone but Swift at his best--and this is her first novel. I'm looking forward to the others. If you're really into Austen, and can handle some rougher edges and a more satirical narrator, this is a great book for you: Evelina herself is the Great English Heroine a few years after Clarissa, and a few years before Lizzie Bennett.

The most interesting part of this book, though, is the way Burney plays with the modes of eighteenth century fiction: she gives us satire, sentiment, farce, social commentary, bawdy wit, and sententious BS in almost equal doses. And most impressively of all, you can sense that Burney is in total control of all of them, recognizes that each mode lines up well with a way of life as much as with a literary fashion (sometimes this is made obvious in the novel, as Mrs Selwyn stands for satire and Villars stands for sententiousness), and is willing to give each a say--before, ultimately, coming down on the side of Selwyn's satire and Evelina's proto-LizBennettian irony (which itself develops throughout the book rather than being, as in Austen, constant from the start of P&P). She wields a kind of authorial control that very few twentieth century anglophone authors can (Anthony Powell, William Gaddis, J. G. Farrell and Muriel Spark come to mind as possible comparisons).

PS: this edition is great, too--lovingly and helpfully annotated and introduced. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
During some points in the novel, I just wanted to rattle Evelina and ask how she could be so naïve, but then those were the times when women weren't so "knowledgeable" about the world...I got through it eventually.

The letter format, while not exactly true to written letters, helps to provide the necessary pause a modern reader might need to take stock of the story. Jane Austin's works make a bit more sense if this is indeed some of what was available for her to read.
  VeritysVeranda | Sep 29, 2013 |
The first two thirds of this or so are rape culture as horror story: every single man Evelina meets corners her with importunities. If she rejects him politely, he ignores her and carries on; if she tries to walk away he stops her, or goes with her, and carries on; if she resorts to other means she's scorned (by the world and even herself in hindsight) for her impropriety and it results in a new man accosting her with even greater rudeness. And then the first man returns another day unperturbed.

I lose track of how many people end up seriously pursuing her this way: at least five (Lovel, Merton, wossname, Sir Clement, and Branghton Jr) not to mention all the nameless men in the garden maze etc. It escalates unrelentingly and -- okay, I was less frightened for her than absolutely outraged at the men and her so-called friends and society at large, then and now.

Anyway, then the romance started being more important and so the focus turned to clarifying her parentage, and that was all fine and sweet; the resolution - or more precisely the problem - turned on introducing a hitherto-unknown petty villain, but okay. Evelina and her beau are pretty adorable together once she gets to know him as a person and not just as the one man in the world who isn't actively sexually harrassing her. ( )
1 vote zeborah | Jun 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (60 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frances Burneyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doody, Margaret AnnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doody, Margaret AnneEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nickolls, JosephCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomson, HughIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Can anything, my good Sir, be more painful to a friendly mind, than a necessity of communicating disagreeable intelligence?
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192840312, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:04 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

This is the story of a young woman's education in the ways of the world in 18th century England. Commentary, notes and a reading group guide is included.

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.77)
0.5
1 6
1.5
2 13
2.5 7
3 72
3.5 22
4 82
4.5 10
5 67

Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140433473, 0141198869

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,629,044 books! | Top bar: Always visible