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Mothering the Novel: Frances Burney and the Next Generations of Women Novelists.

  1. When Frances Burney published her first novel, Evelina, in 1778, her preface assumes a male voice, and, although it confesses that novelists are generally "disdained," asks that this novel should be read in the light of "Rousseau, Johnson, Marivaux, Fielding, Richardson and Smollett," a pantheon which combines "knowledge ... eloquence ... pathetic powers ... wit ... and humour" (and, of course, incarnates these qualities within an exclusively masculine authority). [1] Only 23 years later in 1801, Maria Edgeworth's similar preface to her early novel Belinda marks a cultural sea-change. Like Burney, Edgeworth is anxious about claiming the status of a novelist, calling the book not a novel but "a moral Tale." Unlike Burney, however, Edgeworth writes unambiguously as a woman, and allows her name to appear on the title page. Like Burney, she summons up in her own support a pantheon of predecessors, but while Burney shelters behind paternal authority, Edgeworth's pantheon consists of "madame de Crousaz, Mrs Inchbald, Miss Burney, and Dr Moore."[2] A new model of female authorship and indeed authority has emerged: and the author who most facilitated this new model was Burney herself.
  2. For women novelists from the 1780s to the 1820s, Burney offered an exhilaratingly enabling model of female authorship, not only promising cultural and financial capital, but also suggesting that genteel respectability and novel-writing and reading were by no means incompatible. Jane Austen famously was a keen reader of Burney, probably taking the title of Pride and Prejudice from Burney's Cecilia, and in a rare moment in Northanger Abbey (1818) where the novelist apparently speaks for herself, Burney appears alongside Edgeworth as an author whose work displays "the greatest powers of the mind ... the most thorough knowledge of human nature ... the liveliest effusions of wit ... in the best chosen language." [3] Burney empowers by allowing the woman's novel to be not "disdained" but truly a work of original and intellectual art.
  3. The publication of Evelina and its two successors, Cecilia (1782) and Camilla (1796), confirmed Burney's reputation as a novelist whose work was not only entertaining but also, crucially, morally sound. La Belle Assemblée in 1806 praises her as both a realist and a moralist, presenting "a true picture of life" in a "reasonable" form. [4] These twin claims are repeatedly heard in discussions of Burney. The thirteen-year-old Elizabeth Benger in The Female Geniad [5] praises Burney for a "novel art" which "[e]ngages interest, and affects the heart," and for humour, wit and satire, but most importantly, "Throughout the whole, morality presides, / Fair purity, the pen of Burney guides" (Benger: 51). Robert Bisset's anti-Jacobin Douglas: or, the Highlander [6] devotes a whole chapter [7] to a comparison of Ann Radcliffe, Charlotte Smith and Burney. Burney is recommended at first simply for not being a democrat (Bisset: III, 304), but is later more lavishly praised for "deep insight into human nature" (Bisset: III, 311), and "most momentous lessons of the best ethics and morals," tending "to make the reader wiser, stronger and better" (Bisset: III, 312). Bisset concludes that where Radcliffe "was chiefly distinguished by vivacity of fancy" and Smith by "tenderness of feeling," Burney's distinguishing features are "acuteness, force, and comprehensiveness of understanding" (Bisset: III, 315).
  4. Even commentators otherwise opposed in principle to the novel specifically exclude Burney from their anti-novel discourse. Erasmus Darwin allows her novels in his scheme for female education, for instance, [8] and Eaton Stannard Barrett, while generally arguing that novel-reading leads young women into all kinds of false perceptions, misfortune and immorality, sees Burney's rationalist discourse as quite different from dangerous imaginative fiction. [9] When Lady Sarah Pennington's An Unfortunate Mother's Advice to her Absent Daughters was first published in 1761, it excluded novels altogether, but in later editions the editor increasingly adds novels, with emphasis on Burney's Evelina and Cecilia.[10] Sarah Green does likewise in a conduct book which not only recommends Burney for the reading of young women but actually alludes to the subtitle of Evelina in her own title, Mental Improvement for a Young Lady, on her Entrance into the World (1793).[11] Green claims that novels generally
  5. poison the mind ... soften and pervert the understanding and ... divest you of that which is really pure and virtuous. Miss Burney's are the only writings of that kind you may peruse with safety ... Her novels are entirely devoid of that romantic, enthusiastic ardour between the sexes which ... renders that sort of reading so very pernicious and dangerous (Green: 101-2).

  6. In narratives of all kinds, poems, novels, education works and periodical fiction, the Burney-reading girl or woman is rapidly established as cultural shorthand for sense, sensibility and virtue. In William Hayley's The Triumphs of Temper (1781), reading Evelina both symbolises and facilitates the "virtues" of Serena, the idealised sweet-tempered young heroine;[12] and other virtuous fictional Burney readers include the heroine of a Lady's Magazine story of 1787; the eponymous heroine of Charlotte Lennox's remarkable last novel Euphemia (1790);[13] and, most famously, Anne Elliot in Persuasion (1817), who when made by her sister to change her seat at a concert, cannot help comparing herself to "Miss Larolles, the inimitable Miss Larolles," in Cecilia. [14] It is interesting that Anne remembers and ironically identifies herself with this comic character, and not with the complex and heart-rending distresses of Burney's heroine, and this helps to underline Anne's struggle against self-pity, though the reader may recognise more direct parallels with the situation of the orphaned Cecilia in her lone struggle against her love for Mortimer Delville.
  7. If the Burney-reading girl or woman shows sense and an acute but self-disciplined sensibility, characters who spurn, undervalue or misunderstand her novels are conversely stigmatised as foolish, lacking in proper sensibility, or even immoral. In the anonymous The Heir of Montague [15] (1797-8), the middle-aged widow Lady Sarah Valmont reveals her true nature equally by her dress - "all the primary colours, among which red predominated" (Heir: II, 40) - and her reading practices, as she ostentatiously reads Ariosto in Italian and slights "the Evelina and Cecilia of Miss Burney" (Heir: II, 46-9, 42): both support the verdict that she has "more good humour than sense, and more conceit than either" (Heir: II, 40). Mrs Wouldbe in Anna Maria Bennet's The Beggar Girl and her Benefactors [16] reveals her foolish social aspirations by her failure to respond to Burney, and, of course, John Thorpe in Northanger Abbey foolishly ridicules Camilla. In Jane Porter's Thaddeus of Warsaw (1804), Euphemia Dundas reads the "elegant pages of ... Burney," but this is vitiated by her "voracious appetite" for the "garbage" of the circulating library. She reads in order to model herself on fictional heroines, and her discovery of Burney's Camilla causes her to adopt a style of behaviour which is at least "silent," even if she cannot emulate the "delicacy" of the heroine.[17]
  8. A fuller example of the use of Burney's fiction as a battle over the morality of sensibility and women's reading and writing can be found in Elizabeth Blower's George Bateman of 1782. This novel is highly allusive, repeatedly raising issues of women's reading, but Burney haunts it. (It would be interesting to know whether Burney herself read this novel; I have found no record in the published Burneiana, but the heroine's ill-fated attempts to find work in the second half of the novel offer a blueprint for Burney's last novel The Wanderer). Blower's heroine, Cecilia, derives her name hot from the press from Burney's latest protagonist. In Book II, however, there is a lengthy and specific discussion of Evelina between Cecilia and the Miss Taddingtons, "great readers" [18] - a term which, as Miss Bingley's attempt to foist it on Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice suggests, almost always signals foolish self-conceit when applied to women. The Taddingtons embody bad reading practices in contrast to Cecilia. She escapes seduction because, coming into a room to find a book "of the ethical kind," she hears Lord Leftoff plotting to seduce her, and she recognises that his quotation from the letters of Lord Chesterfield (Blower: II, 194-7), whose precepts are referred to by another woman novelist of the period as "useless or criminal,"[19] demonstrates his fundamental lack of moral principles.
  9. The Taddington's dislike Evelina:

    some people pretend to admire it, but, for my part, I cannot see much in it. - To be sure, Sir Clement Willoughby [20] is a sweet, charming, adventuring fellow; but then the book's quite spoilt by that odious Captain's low stuff ...And then that stupid, blundering Evelina I have no patience with ... [she] deserved all her mortifications ... (Blower: II, 9-10)

  10. Blower's novel makes extensive reference and allusion to Fielding's novels Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews, even to the point of presenting a Fieldingesque mock battle in the final pages. Burney, especially the Burney of Evelina, is not infrequently compared by contemporary commentators to Fielding - "the Fielding of modern novelists," "Fielding seems in female form conceal'd." [21] In Blower's later novel Maria, Fielding is praised as a "bright spirit of heart-chearing humour, endearing sympathy, poignant wit, and daring observation."[22] It is, therefore, likely that the Taddingtons' dislike of Captain Mirvan is meant to be seen as a failure of humour and a false elegance that marks them as social climbers.

  11. Miss Taddington claims to have a great deal of sensibility - "I am sure I never read a death-bed scene in a novel without quite sobbing" - but she cannot understand the propriety of calling Evelina "a pathetic, as well as entertaining book": after all, "there isn't one death of any sort or kind throughout the performance" (Blower: II, 11). Cecilia reveals truer sensibility when she reminds the sisters that the novel "contains some incidents ... that press as closely upon the softest keys of tender sensibility, as the most tragical ones could do." In particular, Orville's interview with Evelina after he has seen her "unknowingly in company with two women of the town," she has found "peculiarly delicate," and although she has reread it several times, it always "draw[s] tears into my eyes" (Blower: II, 12). Sally Taddington reveals her lack of taste by accusing the author of being "an impertinent pedantical minx" (Blower: II, 13), and her sister dislikes Evelina's naive behaviour in the ballroom. Other novelists, she complains, depict young women without education who still instinctively know how to behave in high society, "as if they had been born and bred duchesses." Cecilia responds by praising Burney's superior knowledge of "Nature," but this does not placate Miss Taddington - "one may see awkward creatures enough, without looking for them in books" (Blower: II, 14-15). Cecilia, however, continues to argue that Burney "knew the workings of an elevated female mind, as well as any author who ever wrote on the subject" (Blower: II, 16), and to emphasise both the realism and morality of the novel. For Blower, literacy takes on real practical uses in the real world - Cecilia's reading saves her from seduction, an elderly lady throws a "large quarto of divinity-tracts ... which she had just been reading" at a hypocritical clergyman (Blower: I, 146).
  12. One point Blower raises is the potential difference between reading as a man and reading as a woman. While Cecilia praises Burney's ability to understand the female mind, the eponymous hero likes the low comedy, the Branghtons and Captain Mirvan, although, with a glance at the Taddingtons, he acknowledges that the latter "may be too rough to please the extreme delicacy of some ladies" (Blower: II, 15). These issues about gendered reading practices, the practical uses of literacy, and Burney's fiction recur as late as Eliza Taylor's Education: or, Elizabeth, Her Lover and Husband (1817). The preface to Taylor's didactic novel praises moral novelists Hannah More and Mary Brunton, and Taylor defines her purpose to show "the importance of education in teaching to subdue ... [the] passions." [23] However the novel's crucial intertext is not Coelebs or Self-Control, but Evelina. Here the argument over that novel is played out between the virtuous "fair reader" Matilda Darnley, who is shown reading Evelina (Taylor: I, 116), and her lover Lt. Aukland. Matilda reads Evelina correctly as an essentially educational work like Taylor's own, hoping that "by laughing at poor Evelina's errors, I might be guarded against them" (Taylor: I, 115). Aukland, however, reveals his weaker moral nature by reading Evelina as no more than a superior romantic novel and learning not moral lessons but only to envy the success of "happy Orville." While her reading allows her to learn, his encourages him to escape into a dangerously self-indulgent world of misleading "models of perfection." The argument, as in George Bateman, is over not only morality but also realism. Aukland is "a devoted votary to ... works of the imagination," but Matilda is critical of "a world which has no existence but in the author's brain" (Taylor: I, 116). She would allow "some play to the imagination," but not "unnatural events and improbable incidents," for a "novel ought to be a picture of human life" (Taylor: I, 117), written to engage the "judgement" and not merely "the imagination" (Taylor: I, 118). In particular, Matilda objects to novels which present "miracles of virtue, or prodigies of valour," for these do not help us to "make our own happiness here or hereafter - it is by petty cares, trivial duties, and little self-denials" (Taylor: I, 118-19). For her, Burney's "moral tales" (Taylor: I, 118) achieve these ends most fully in their combination of morality and realism, which are inextricably linked in Taylor's aesthetic.
  13. The differences between the reading practices of Matilda and Aukland reveal that they will never be suitable partners, and the tragic collapse of their relationship is depicted through episodes which are highly allusive of Burney's novels. When Matilda rejects him, Aukland attempts to shoot himself but is prevented by her, as Evelina rescues Macartney from an apparent suicide attempt, but he finally succeeds in killing himself in a scene planned to recall the suicide of Harrel in Cecilia. Burney's model confirms the difference between good and bad reading practices, and her novels not only serve as a yardstick to judge moral virtue, but also provide a literary language for punishing its failure.
  14. Burney, then, offered an empowering example to the next generations of women writers, who repeatedly argue that her combination of realism and morality raise the novel to another level and confirm the possibility that the woman novel writer (and reader) can nonetheless be moral and respectable. This identification also acted as a camouflage for women novelists who were not moral and respectable. Mary Robinson, actress, mistress of the Prince Regent, reinvented herself as a novelist who was both radical and moral through repeated allusion to Burney. Her first novel Vancenza; or, the Dangers of Credulity (1792) sets a moral agenda, as the subtitle suggests, and although it never openly refers to Burney, there is possibly at least one allusion in a paraphrase of Mr Villars' famous warning about female reputation.[24] Her fifth novel, Walsingham; or, the Pupil of Nature (1797) makes her debt to Burney's novels, especially Evelina, explicit. Early in the novel, as in Evelina, there is a symbolic visit to King Lear, which underlines the novel's themes of parentage and inheritance.[25] Dr Pimpernel like Lord Merton in Evelina cannot see the point of old women.[26] Mr McArthur, impoverished son of a baronet, is reminiscent of Mr Macartney, and Walsingham's attempt at suicide fortuitously prevented by the intervention of a woman also recalls the Macartney plot in Evelina.[27] More important, the novel's attack on conventional sexual morality and the double standard appropriates Evelina to this very different agenda, since Miss Woodford is allowed implicitly to claim an essential virtue through her reading of that novel, even though she is not a traditional chaste heroine but has lost her virginity to the hero.[28] Evelina is praised for "humour and character" (Robinson: 248), but its coded significance goes far beyond this.
  15. As the nineteenth century progressed, women novelists continued to refer respectfully to Burney's novels and to use her work as a model, but increasingly criticism coexists with the praise. Mary Russell Mitford in 1812 judged Burney incapable of drawing a good male character, and in 1819 wrote that she did not "think very highly" of her novels, criticising the "sameness" of her characters and the way she "degrades her heroines in every possible way, bodily and mental."[29] Maria Edgeworth read and remembered Burney's work, recording family readings of Evelina and Cecilia, collecting anecdotes about Burney, viewing places she visits in the light of Burney's novels, seeing Evelina as a vital watershed in the history of women's access to print culture, and relying on allusions, especially to Cecilia and Camilla, "to describe people" real and fictional.[30] As a fiction writer Edgeworth was strongly influenced by Burney. Belinda is a highly Burneyesque novel, and Cecilia was, perhaps, her favourite Burney novel, [31] and she appropriates the name for the heroine of Ennui (1809). However, it is interesting that she is a resisting as well as a respectful reader, and is more likely to attach the name to deeply flawed anti-heroines - the heroine's friend in Helen who is too weak to tell her husband that she herself wrote the love-letters to Daubigny, with catastrophic results for Helen, or the child in "The Bracelets" (in The Parent's Assistant, 1796-1800) who needs to be educated out of a fundamental error of character.[32] Edgeworth by this appropriation of names implicitly accuses Burney's heiress heroine of moral weakness in agreeing to a secret marriage to Delville and giving up her name and her fortune for him.
  16. Finally, in 1836 Anne Marsh-Caldwell wrote A Country Vicarage.[33] In this novel Louisa Evelyn, the daughter of a poor clergyman, is taken up by rich friends, in whose company she meets and falls in love with Lord William Melville. Her father's student Charles Lovel loves her, but manfully sacrifices his own desires to persuade Melville to do the right thing by Louisa. The marriage proves a disaster, since Melville and his aristocratic circle cannot cope with Louisa's sensibility, her Christianity, her love for him, or her domestic values. He insists she goes out with him when their child is ill; the child dies, and Louisa, distraught, dies in Charles Lovel's arms.
  17. Unlike the novels of Blower or Taylor, there is no explicit flagging up of Burney's novels in Marsh-Caldwell's, but names, incidents and a few quotations [34] identify Evelina as a crucial intertext, but an intertext whose significance becomes very changed, even reversed. The use of the name Louisa Evelyn for the heroine who make the wrong rather than the right choice of husband suggests this at once. Lord William Melville also re-evaluates Lord Orville as the lover-mentor. The superficial sweetness of mel - honey - displaces the solid worth of or - gold. This can be seen in episodes such as the incident of the drunken coachman after the theatre, where Lord William, who cannot decide whether propriety requires him to stay and help Louisa in her faint or modestly leave her alone (Marsh-Caldwell: 32-3), behaves much less well than Orville in a similar situation (Evelina: 244-6). It is interesting too that the coxcomb Lovel in Evelina is reinvented as the sturdy self-sacrificing Charles Lovel , and that Louisa's chief opponent, her superficial aristocratic sister-in-law who reprises Orville's sister Lady Louisa in Evelina, should be identified with the author by being given the name called Lady Fanny. Negative and positive models of feminine behaviour are completely reversed here, as are masculine in the case of Lovel. A direct criticism is therefore suggested of the author of the novel's chief intertext. Marsh-Caldwell's Louisa sinks under "a moral atrophy" caused by excessive indulgence in "poesy [and] romance" (Marsh-Caldwell: 42, 52), and for this writer in the 1830s, unlike Sarah Green four decades earlier, Burney is not a noble exception to generalisations about the destructive power of fiction but a palpable demonstration of their truth. This is not a fair or balanced verdict on Burney and Evelina, and indeed Burney and Marsh-Caldwell share a number of views.[35] But whereas for Blower, Taylor and many of their contemporaries, Burney's work was synonymous with virtue and realism, for Marsh-Caldwell Burney represents superficiality of judgement - why else would Marsh-Caldwell give her positive characters names that in Burney are assigned to negative ones? For Marsh-Caldwell, Burney also seems to represent snobbery, outmoded models of masculinity and femininity, contempt for middle-class values and domestic ideology, a dangerous fostering of excessive sensibility, and an equally dangerous lack of a religious perspective. Possibly, too, like the Taddington sisters, Marsh-Caldwell disliked the robust humour of Evelina, since this is entirely edited out. The Victorian age had arrived.
  18. Burney's novels not only served as an enabling mechanism for women novelists from Elizabeth Blower to Eliza Taylor: she also accomplished the remarkable, indeed virtually unique, feat of being read and enjoyed by women of every political persuasion, from conservatives to liberals and radicals. Anti-Jacobins like Barrett, Bisset, and Jane West, who refers respectfully to Dr Orkborne in Camilla and to Cecilia, identified her as one of their own. [36] In a sense this is not surprising since Burney would not, as Bisset points out, have classified herself with the "democrats." However this did not deter women with very different political instincts from appropriating her and her texts and reading her with pleasure. Republican Catharine Macaulay's Letters on Education advise against allowing children to read Cecilia which "may fill a young person's mind with too vast an idea of the power of love," but nonetheless praises the novel as "well-conceived" and "natural" as well as inculcating "virtue," and suggests that it can be read with "pleasure, and advantage" when a young person's education is complete. [37] Mary Wollstonecraft appreciated Burney's "very just" representation of "high life" in a letter of 1787 to her sister with the Burneyesque name of Everina, and in a review for the Analytical Review in 1796 she finds Camilla generally "inferiour" to Burney's earlier novels, but also finds "parts of it superiour to any thing she has yet produced." [38] While for Blower or Taylor the heroine's reading of Burney serves as a coded way of placing her within conventional female morality and domestic ideology, an identification with Burney could also, as the example of Robinson has already demonstrated, be used to challenge such traditional virtues.
  19. Perhaps Burney's appropriability by all political positions is an indication of her own ambivalence about women's place in society: The Wanderer (1814) explicitly rejects Wollstonecraftian feminism and yet forcefully dramatises the social injustices caused by women's lack of rights and indeed is "influenced by" [39] Wollstonecraft's The Wrongs of Woman, and although neither Cecilia nor Camilla presses for social change, both depict vividly the emotional and economic problems for women caused by conditions as they are. One can see how both Wollstonecraftians and Westians might have found something to appeal to them in these novels.

 Jacqueline Pearson (University of Manchester)

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[1] Burney, Frances. 1970. Evelina; or, a Young Lady's Entrance into the World, ed. Edward A. Bloom. London: Oxford University Press: 7, 9. [back]
[2] Edgeworth, Maria. 1993. Belinda, ed. Eiléan Ni Chuilleanain. London: Everyman: xxx. [back]
[3] Austen, Jane. 1972. Northanger Abbey, ed. Anne Ehrenpreis. Harmondsworth: Penguin: 57-8. I have chosen not to develop this point about Austen's appropriation of Burney since this has already been well covered: see, e.g. Frank W. Bradbrook, Jane Austen and her Predecessors (1966. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press); Kenneth L. Moler, Jane Austen's Art of Allusion (1968. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press); and especially Claudia L. Johnson, Jane Austen: Women. Politics and the Novel (1988. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press: 24-6, 133-4. [back]
[4] La Belle Assemblée I, 1806, p. 531. [back]
[5] The Female Geniad ( 1791. London: T. Hookham and J. Carpenter, and C. and G. Kearsley). [back]
[6] Douglas; or, the Highlander (1800: London: The Anti-Jacobin Press).[back]
[7] Volume 3, chapter IX. [back]
[8] Darwin, A plan for the conduct of female education (1797. Derby: J. Drewry): 33, 124.[back]
[9] Eaton Stannard Barrett, The Heroine,or Adventures of Cherubina (1815. London: Henry Coburn), II, 283. [back]
[10] E.g. in The Young Lady's Pocket Library, or Parental Monitor (1790. Dublin: John Archer): 87. [back]
[11] Sarah Green, Mental Improvement for a Young Lady, on her Entrance into the World; addressed to a favourite Niece (1793. London: Minerva Press): 101. [back]
[12] William Hayley, The Triumphs of Temper (1781. London: J. Dodsley), canto I, lines 68-9. [back]
[13] See Jacqueline Pearson, Women's Reading in Britain 1750-1835: a Dangerous Recreation (1999. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 108-9. [back]
[14] Jane Austen, Persuasion (1994. Ed. Pat Rogers. London: Everyman): 155; Burney, Cecilia IV.vi.[back]
[15] The Heir of Montague (1797-8. London: Minerva Press). [back]
[16] Agnes Maria Bennett, The Beggar Girl and her Benefactors (1799. London: Minerva Press). [back]
[17] Jane Porter, Thaddeus of Warsaw (1804. London: A. Strahan): II, 166; III, 48. [back]
[18] Elizabeth Blower, George Bateman (1782. London: Dodsley): II, 9. [back]
[19] Mary Robinson, Walsingham; or, the Pupil of Nature (2003. Ed. Julie A. Schaffer. Ontario: Broadview Press): 92. [back]
[20] Sir Clement is, of course, the rake who embarrasses and abducts Evelina, and forges a letter from Orvile to break up their relationship. [back]
[21] Bisset, Douglas: III, 310; Benger, The Female Geniad: 51. [back]
[22] Elizabeth Blower, Maria (1785. London: T. Cadell): I, 193.[back]
[23] Eliza Taylor, Education; or, Elizabeth, Her Lover and Husband. A Tale for 1817 (1817. London: Minerva Press): I, i, iii-iv. [back]
[24] Mary Robinson, Vancenza; or, the Dangers of Credulity (1792. London: Bell, 1792): I. 70 - "there is nothing so difficult to preserve as female reputation." Cf. Evelina: 164. [back]
[25] Walsingham: 74; Evelina: 38. [back]
[26] Walsingham: 222; see editor's footnote. [back]
[27] Walsingham: 278, 481. [back]
[28] The rest of her library consists of Beattie's The Minstrel, Samuel Jackson Pratt's "interesting and improving lessons," the plays of Arthur Murphy, and Charlotte Smith's sonnets (Walsingham: 248). [back]
[29] R. Brimley Johnson ed., The Letters of Mary Russell Mitford (1925. London: John Lane, Bodley Head): 89, 165-6. [back]
[30] See Christina Colvin, Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813-1844 (1971. Oxford: Clarendon Press): 169, 525; Augustus J. C. Hare, The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth (1894. London: Edward Arnold): I, 142, 212, 225. [back]
[31] See Marilyn Butler, Maria Edgeworth: a Literary Biography (1972. Oxford: Clarendon Press): 449; Colvin, Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England: 45, 277, and Christina Colvin, Maria Edgeworth in France and Switzerland: Selections from the Edgeworth Family Letters (1979. Oxford: Clarendon Press): 188. [back]
[32] See Jacqueline Pearson, "Arts of Appropriation: Language, Circulation and Appropriation in the Work of Maria Edgeworth" (Yearbook of English Studies 28, 1998: 212-34). [back]
[33] Anna Marsh -Caldwell, A Country Vicarage, and Love and Duty; or, Tales of the Woods and Fields (1850. London and Belfast: Simms and McIntyre). I am grateful to Diane Duffy for drawing my attention to this novel. [back]
[34] Lady Gertrude calls Louisa "A poor weak creature" (Marsh-Caldwell: 71) - cf. Evelina: 35, where Orville refers to Evelina as "A poor weak girl." Lord William, echoed by Charles, remark that Louisa "has no brother!" (Marsh-Caldwell: 53), as Evelina wishes she had a brother and Orville agrees to occupy that role (Evelina: 314 ). [back]
[35] Cf. Marsh-Caldwell: 23 - "Now, as every novel .. teaches us ... in this age of ours, beauty without the prestige of wealth or rank, has almost entirely lost its effect upon the imagination of young men of fashion" - with Evelina: 184, the view of the snobbish Mrs Beaumont that "birth and virtue are one and the same thing." [back]
[36] Letters to a Young Lady (1806. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme): III, 426; The Infidel Father (1802. London: A. Strahan): 334. [back]
[37] Catharine Macaulay, Letters on Education (1790. London: Dilly): 147. [back]
[38] Ralph M. Wardle ed., Collected Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft (1979. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press): 141; Janet Todd and Marilyn Butler eds., The Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, (1989. London: William Pickering): VII, p. 465. [back]
[39]Margaret Anne Doody, introduction to Burney, The Wanderer (1991. Ed. Doody, Robert L. Mack and Peter Sabor. London: Everyman): xxxii. [back]

 

 

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