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Daddying

Alethea Hayter

14 September 1989
Frances BurneyThe Life in the Works 
by Margaret Anne Doody.
Cambridge, 441 pp., £30, April 1989, 9780521362580
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... that they may ‘feel horrified at what they they regard as a changeling-substitution of a mad Gothic feminist for the cheerful little Augustan chatterbox’ which is the conventional picture of FannyBurney. Stimulated to anger by past biographers who see FannyBurney as sunny and shallow, ‘dear little Burney’, who class her with, but below, Jane Austen, who are interested only in Evelina and ...

Fan-de-Siècle

Brigid Brophy

6 October 1983
Murasaki Shikibu: Her Diary and Poetic Memoirs, A Translation and Study 
by Richard Bowring.
Princeton, 290 pp., £21.70, August 1982, 0 691 06507 1
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Evelina 
by Fanny Burney.
Oxford, 421 pp., £2.50, April 1982, 0 19 281596 2
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The Journals and Letters of Fanny​ Burney 
edited by Peter Hughes and Warren Derry.
Oxford, 624 pp., £37.50, September 1980, 0 19 812507 0
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Colette 
by Joanna Richardson.
Methuen, 276 pp., £12.95, June 1983, 0 413 48780 6
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Letters from Colette 
translated by Robert Phelps.
Virago, 214 pp., £7.95, March 1982, 0 86068 252 8
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... royal house from that of our own dear Hanoverian-and-after monarchy when I was stopped in my unfair tracks by the memory that in fact something very like Murasaki’s experience did happen to FannyBurney. She was swept, as Second Keeper of the Robes, into the train of Queen Charlotte, George III’s wife, when she too was in her thirties and famous as the author of two bestsellers, Cecilia and her ...

Female Heads

John Bayley

27 October 1988
Woman to Woman: Female Friendship in Victorian Fiction 
by Tess Cosslett.
Harvester, 211 pp., £29.95, July 1988, 0 7108 1015 6
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Sentiment and Sociability: The Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century 
by John Mullan.
Oxford, 261 pp., £25, June 1988, 0 19 812865 7
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The Early Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney. Vol. I: 1768-1773 
edited by Lars Troide.
Oxford, 353 pp., £45, June 1988, 9780198125815
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... However ‘feminine’ their subject-matter, they don’t approach it determinedly as ‘women’. And it is ironic that Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot, themselves ignoring predecessors like FannyBurney and Jane Austen, should have taken their feminine image from Richardson-Clarissa. As John Mullan shows in his useful and scholarly book, the early prestige of Richardson went underground, his ...

Malice

John Mullan: Fanny Burney

23 August 2001
Fanny BurneyA Biography 
by Claire Harman.
Flamingo, 464 pp., £8.99, October 2001, 0 00 655036 3
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Fanny BurneyHer Life 
by Kate Chisholm.
Vintage, 347 pp., £7.99, June 1999, 0 09 959021 2
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Faithful Handmaid: Fanny Burney​ at the Court of King George III 
by Hester Davenport.
Sutton, 224 pp., £25, June 2000, 0 7509 1881 0
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... In March 1815, Madame d’Arblay, the woman we know better as FannyBurney, was forced by the arrival of Napoleon from Elba to flee Paris and to leave behind almost all her possessions. ‘Books – Cloaths Trinkets – Linnen – argenterie Goods – MSS!!! All!’ When ...
4 February 1988
I know my own heart: The Diaries of Anne Lister, 1791-1840 
edited by Helena Whitbread.
Virago, 370 pp., £7.95, February 1988, 0 86068 840 2
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... sent off each Tuesday to his friend John Johnston of Grange, a dullish youth of about Boswell’s own age, but one in whose affectionate and uncritical company he felt more at peace than with anyone. FannyBurney, who commenced a journal at the age of 15, gave as her reason that ‘when the hour arrives at which time is more nimble than memory’ she might have a record of her thoughts, manners ...

Wannabee

Frank Kermode

8 October 1992
Sacred Country 
by Rose Tremain.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 365 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 1 85619 118 4
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... Fiction will be enough to persuade most readers that not many novelists of that century wrote the bright book of life, or quite came up to the standard set, unless Jane Austen is way over the top, by FannyBurney. It is generally assumed that these lofty claims have little relation to run-of-the-mill fictions of the kind that Booker judges have lately been ploughing through. And yet it can be argued ...

Too Many Pears

Thomas Keymer: Frances Burney

26 August 2015
The Court Journals and Letters of Frances Burney​ 1786-91, Vols III-IV: 1788 
edited by Lorna Clark.
Oxford, 824 pp., £225, September 2014, 978 0 19 968814 2
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... When​ Frances Burney’s journals were published by her niece in a seven-volume series of highlights (Diary and Letters of Madame d’Arblay, 1842-46), they were savaged by John Wilson Croker in the Tory Quarterly Review ...

At the V&A

Peter Campbell: Among the Artefacts

13 December 2001
... of sharp eyes and small fingers (only documented because her work was preserved by the family over generations) – to have such things as these is the visual equivalent of a paragraph from Pepys or FannyBurney. Without the explanations they would be as pretty and intriguing, but much less amusing and interesting. Although the whole four hundred years from 1500 to 1900 are here, they are, more often ...

In Russell Square

Peter Campbell: Exploring Bloomsbury

30 November 2006
... the pleasure of being on the edge of town. Names have long lives. In London this or that ‘fields’ can indicate places which once were beside open country. The squares ate into that; the view FannyBurney liked of the hills of Hampstead, seen across the fields through the open end of Queen Square, did not long survive her pleasure ...

At the National Portrait Gallery

Peter Campbell: Thomas Lawrence

6 January 2011
... the attention of his father’s patrons in the Black Bear, a coaching inn on the London to Bath road. ‘Not merely the wonder of his family but of the times, for his astonishing skill in drawing’, FannyBurney wrote. A detail from ‘Mary Hamilton, Later Mary Denham’ (1789) The drawings in the exhibition include one of Thomas Holcroft and William Godwin, as spectators at the trial of fellow ...
12 July 1990
A Second Self: The Letters of Harriet Granville 1810-1845 
edited by Virginia Surtees.
Michael Russell, 320 pp., £14.95, April 1990, 0 85955 165 2
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... and as guest in the greatest English country houses. She encountered the most famous and most notorious men and women of her day – from Lord Shaftesbury to Queen Caroline, and from Wellington to Fanny Kemble – but in describing them she excelled at the vivid vignette rather than the comprehensive landscape. She pins down Talleyrand at a Tuileries reception, ‘crawling past me last night like a ...

Puellilia

Pat Rogers

7 August 1986
Mothers of the Novel: One Hundred Good Women Writers before Jane Austen 
by Dale Spender.
Pandora, 357 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 86358 081 5
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Scribbling Sisters 
by Dale Spender and Lynne Spender.
Camden Press, 188 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 948491 00 0
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A Woman of No Character: An Autobiography of Mrs Manley 
by Fidelis Morgan.
Faber, 176 pp., £9.95, June 1986, 0 571 13934 5
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Cecilia 
by Fanny Burney.
Virago, 919 pp., £6.95, May 1986, 0 86068 775 9
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Millenium Hall 
by Sarah Scott.
Virago, 207 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86068 780 5
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Marriage 
by Susan Ferrier.
Virago, 513 pp., £4.50, February 1986, 0 86068 765 1
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Belinda 
by Maria Edgeworth.
Pandora, 434 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 074 2
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Self-Control 
by Mary Brunton.
Pandora, 437 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 9780863580840
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The Female Quixote: The Adventures of Arabella 
by Charlotte Lennox.
Pandora, 423 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 080 7
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... of Defoe’s maleness, and the privilege this has won him in the manuals. The case is more serious with Richardson. Spender quotes a much deeper critic, Ellen Moers, to the effect that Austen studied FannyBurney more attentively than she did Richardson: this is a half-truth at best, and abundant testimony exists to show that Grandison lay at the centre of Austen’s sense of the novel. For most ...
5 April 1990
A Form of Sound Words: The Religious Poetry of Christopher Smart 
by Harriet Guest.
Oxford, 293 pp., £35, October 1989, 0 19 811744 2
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... of Thomson’s Seasons and the transmission of religious truths to a dispersed public audience from the emotional intimacy dramatised in Young’s Night Thoughts. (The ‘Mr Fairly’ with whom FannyBurney had what is for Guest a paradigmatic conversation about Young at Court in the 1780s was Col. Stephen Digby, the Queen’s Vice-Chamberlain.) It is a tribute to Guest’s powers of perceptive ...
30 August 1990
The Sign of Angellica: Women, Writing and Fiction, 1660-1800 
by Janet Todd.
Virago, 328 pp., £12.99, April 1989, 0 86068 576 4
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Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian Britain 
by Mary Poovey.
Virago, 282 pp., £12.99, February 1989, 1 85381 035 5
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The Woman Question. Society and Literature In Britain and America, 1837-1883: Vols I-III 
edited by Elizabeth Helsinger, Robin Lauterbach Sheets and William Veeder.
Chicago, 146 pp., £7.95, February 1989, 0 226 32666 7
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Sexual Science: The Victorian Construction of Womanhood 
by Cynthia Eagle Russett.
Harvard, 245 pp., £15.95, June 1989, 9780674802902
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... and compromise than feminist heroism. The impact of Wollstonecraft’s passionate arguments was limited by the scandal of her private life, and the gentler moral perspectives of Ann Radcliffe and FannyBurney were more widely influential. Teachers rather than agitators, such women handed the moral authority of fiction to their inheritors in the 19th century. In doing so, they exhort women to ...
6 July 1995
The Diary of a Breast 
by Elisa Segrave.
Faber, 287 pp., £9.99, April 1995, 0 571 17446 9
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... again on the other side. They range in tone from something close to Gothic horror to naive optimism. For sheer terror, one of the earliest precursors of this particular genre has never been beaten. FannyBurney was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1810, and wrote a long account to her sister (only published years later), detailing her illness, treatment and recovery. She was operated on at home ...

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