Frances Burney, The Siege of Pevensey

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The Siege of Pevensey

was Burney’s third tragedy and believed to have been begun shortly after

Hubert de Vere

in 1790. Unlike her first tragedy,

Edwy and Elgiva


The Siege of Pevensey

was never performed and remained unpublished until Sabor’s collected edition of Burney’s plays in 1995. Shorter than either of her other two completed tragedies, the timings added in Burney’s own hand in 1836 put the play’s running time at two hours (Sabor, 166).

The play is set in the camp of William II during a civil war with his elder brother, Robert, in 1088. The action centres around the Earl of Chester and his daughter, Adela, who, when the play opens, has been kidnapped by Robert’s army and is being held captive in the besieged castle of Pevensey. Taking pity on her, the son of the governor

1792 words

Citation: Crouch, Eleanor. "The Siege of Pevensey". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 July 2011 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

23810 The Siege of Pevensey 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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