Tuesday, 22 June 2010

That 'known scribbler': Frances Burney in the collection at Chawton House Library

Chawton House Library has first and early editions of Frances Burney's work and the titles of her novels are known from references in the writing of Jane Austen, her contemporary and fan, and the endeavours of feminist scholars to 'rediscover' the works of early modern women writers in the second half of the twentieth century. Burney was, in the closing years of the eighteenth century, a renowned and influential novelist, but after her death she became known primarily as a diarist. After Pepys she may well be the second most important social commentator with her journals and letters (1768-1839) reflecting upheavals in British and European culture and history. Her life-writing also reveals her concerns about her literary ambitions and achievements as an eigtheenth-century woman writer.

The Library's Frances Burney holdings can be found on the catalogue: