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Cecilia: Memoirs of an Heiress


CHAPTER v. — AN ADVENTURE.
CHAPTER vi. — A MAN OF GENIUS.
CHAPTER vii. — AN EXPEDIENT.
CHAPTER viii. — A REMONSTRANCE.
CHAPTER ix. — A VICTORY.
BOOK IV.
CHAPTER i. — A COMPLAINT.
CHAPTER ii. — A SYMPATHY.
CHAPTER iii. — A CONFLICT.
CHAPTER iv. — AN EXPECTATION.
CHAPTER v. — AN AGITATION.
CHAPTER vi. — A MAN OF THE TON.
CHAPTER vii. — A REPROOF.
CHAPTER viii. — A MISTAKE.
CHAPTER ix. — AN EXPLANATION.
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PREFACE
"Fanny's Cecilia came out last summer, and is as much liked and read, I believe, as
any book ever was," wrote Charlotte Burney in Jan. 1783. "She had 250 pounds for it
from Payne and Cadell. Most people say she ought to have had a thousand. It is now
going into the third edition, though Payne owns that they printed two thousand at
the first edition, and Lowndes told me five hundred was the common number for a
novel." {Footnote: The Early Diary of Frances Burney, with a selection from her
correspondence, and from the journals of her sisters Susan and Charlotte Burney.
Edited by Annie Raine Ellis. 1889. Vol. II. p. 307.}
The manuscript of Cecilia was submitted to Dr Burney and Mr Crisp during its
composition, and their suggestions were in some cases adopted, a s we learn from
the Diary. Dr Johnson was not consulted, but a desire at once to imitate and to please
him evidently controlled the work.
Under these circumstances it is naturally less fresh and spontaneous than Evelina,
but it is more mature. The touch is surer and the plot more elaborate. We cannot to -
day fully appreciate the "conflict scene between mother and son," for which, Miss
Burney tells us, the book was written; but the pictures of eighteenth century
affectations are all alive, and the story is thoroughly absorbing, except, perhaps, in
the last book.
Miss Burney often took the name of her characters from her acquaintances, and it
seems probable that some of the "types" in Cecilia are also drawn from real life. The
title of Miss Austen's Pride and Prejudice was borrowed from Cecilia, and some
points of resemblance may be traced between the two novels.
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