The London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) Book Group meets monthly to explore a range of London writing, with a remit covering fiction and non-fiction from all periods in London's history. We dust off old classics, explore new writing, make topical choices and use material from the archives to stimulate lively discussion.
Published in 1788 to instant success, Fanny Burney's Evelina is a comic account of the pleasure and dangers of fashionable London in the late eighteenth-century. Burney’s epistolary novel tells the story of her eponymous heroine’s entry into society and in doing so explores the position of women in a world of snobbery, excess and male power.
Published anonymously, Burney’s sharp wit and acute social observations make her an obvious precursor to Jane Austen, though her work is not nearly as well read today.
In December’s Book Group meeting we will discuss the novel, particularly in comparison to other eighteenth century works we have read, and there will be a display of archive material to stimulate discussion.
The image above is a close up of a print entitled 'The humours of the Pantheon' from 1772.
You see this image in much greater detail on Collage: the London Picture Archive.
[Reference: Collage 22947]