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Burney, Frances

Burney, Frances ( Fanny) (1752–1840). Novelist and dramatist. Frances was one of the daughters of music historian Charles Burney, in whose circle she met Samuel Johnson and Edmund Burke. A quiet observer of mankind, her first novel, Evelina, was published anonymously in 1778 and well received. The second, Cecilia, published in 1782, brought her society introductions, which led to a minor appointment at the court of Queen Charlotte in 1786. Five years later, to the surprise of her friends and family, she married General d'Arblay, an impoverished French refugee. Between 1802 and 1812 they lived in France, and at the time of Waterloo she was in Brussels.

Fanny Burney edited her father's memoirs, which were published in 1832. Her own Early Diary (1768–78), first published in 1889, includes sketches of Johnson, Garrick, and Mrs Thrale, and her later diaries, published 1842–6, give interesting insights into the court of George III, which she found dreary.

June Cochrane

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