The Diary and Letters of Frances Burney, Madame d'Arblay - Vol. 1

The Diary and Letters of Frances Burney, Madame d'Arblay - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

The Diary and Letters of Frances Burney, Madame d'Arblay - Vol. 1

The Diary and Letters of Frances Burney, Madame d'Arblay - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

“MISS BURNEY,” says Lord Macaulay, “did for the English novel what Jeremy Collier did for the English drama, and she did it in a better way. She first showed that a tale might be written, in which both the fashionable and the vulgar side of London might be exhibited with great force, and with broad comic humor, and yet which should not contain a single line inconsistent with rigid morality, or even with virgin delicacy. Most of the popular novels which preceded ‘Evelina’ were such as no lady could have written ; and many of them were such as no lady could without confusion own that she had read. The very name of novel was held in horror among religious people. Miss Burney took away the reproach which lay on a most useful and delightful species of composition. Her appearance is an important epoch in our literary history. ‘Evelina’ was the first tale written by a woman, that lived or deserved to live.”

To have earned and merited praise like this is noteworthy achievement for any woman; but, with all respect for Madame d’Arblay’s powers as a novelist, the fact remains that her hold on the regard of modern readers is . . .

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