Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fanny Burney

I am currently reading "Princesses The Six Daughters of George III" by Flora Fraser. In reading this book I have been introduced to Fanny Burney. Fanny Burney born Frances Burney in 1752, was a diarist, novelist, and playwright in England. She became close friends with Queen Charlotte, (wife of King George III) and the princesses when she was in their royal court. Fanny Burney is well known for her novels; Evelina, Cecilia, Camilla, and The Wanderer. She is also known for her many diaries of 18th Century life. Her novels satirized English aristocrats and described life for women in a male dominated society. Her diaries recorded her observations of courtly life, the speeches and trials she heard, and the most amazing is her recording of her own experience when she underwent a mastectomy without anesthetic in 1811 after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She greatly influenced the writers Jane Austen and William Makepeace Thackeray. Fanny married at age 42 to a French exile and they had 1 son Alexander. She died in Bath, England in January of 1840.

"I am ashamed of confessing that I have nothing to confess."
"To despise riches, may, indeed, be philosophic, but to dispense them worthily, must surely be more beneficial to mankind."
Fanny Burney 1752-1840

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