The History of Fanny Burney

The History of Fanny Burney

The History of Fanny Burney

The History of Fanny Burney

Excerpt

At Dr. Burney's death in 1814 his correspondence and papers went by his own wish to his daughter Frances (Madame d'Arblay), whom, among the members of his family, he had chosen as his editor. At the deaths of her sisters Susan Phillips in 1800 and Esther Burney in 1832, of her husband General d'Arblay in 1818 and of her son Alexander d'Arblay in 1837, successive sections of manuscripts were to fall into Madame d'Arblay's possession, augmenting her own accumulations, the writings and correspondence of a lifetime. In accordance with the editorial policies that she pursued in the last twenty years of her life, she destroyed parts of the family papers, but the hoards were steadily enlarged and diversified with current correspondence until her death in 1840.

In her will she bequeathed her father's correspondence (with the exception of her own share of it), together with all the papers that remained in the Doctor's handwriting, to her nephew Dr. Charles Parr Burney with permission to edit and publish them or commit them to the flames at his own judgement. But her own hoards, described as 'the whole of my own immense Mass of Manuscripts collected from my fifteenth year whether personal or collateral consisting of Letters Diaries Journals Dramas Compositions in prose and in rhyme', she left to her niece Charlotte Barrett, giving her 'full and free permission according to her unbiased taste and judgment to keep or destroy them', stipulating only that Charlotte should eventually bequeath 'whatsoever she had not disposed of or annihilated' to her son Richard Barrett, Madame d'Arblay's godson, grand- nephew, and residuary legatee.

This voluminous bequest of manuscripts, augmented by the additions mentioned and by the papers of Madame d'Arblay's sister Charlotte Ann Burney Francis Broome (1761-1838) and by those of her children Marianne Francis (1790-1832), Clement Francis (1792-1829), and Charlotte Francis Barrett herself and by those of the Barrett descendants, came down more or less intact in the Barrett family until the year 1924, when a huge portion of the d'Arblay-Barrett papers was sold.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.