Fanny Burney: Cecilia, or, Memoirs of an Heiress

(1873 words)
  • Justine Crump (University of Cambridge)

Cecilia, or Memoirs of an Heiress was published in July 1782. Frances Burney had begun working on the novel in 1780, after her first attempt at writing for the stage in a lively and promising comedy, The Witlings, had been suppressed by her father, Dr Charles Burney, and her literary mentor, Samuel Crisp. The disappointment of this veto on her dramatic venture, and the pressure she felt to produce a work in the more acceptable genre of fiction in order to capitalize on the success of her first novel Evelina, seems to have placed considerable strain on Burney, and may have coloured the tone and content of her second published work.

Cecilia relates the history of Cecilia Beverley, an orphaned heiress …

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Crump, Justine. "Cecilia, or, Memoirs of an Heiress". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 October 2002
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]