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Evelina (1778)

por Frances Burney

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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2,156355,449 (3.73)1 / 256
Good-looking, kind-hearted Evelina Anville has grown up in rural obscurity as the ward of a country parson. At the age of seventeen, she begins her progress from provincial life to fashionable London ― a transition that's complicated by vulgar relatives and her own naiveté. Evelina's shrewd intelligence, however, perceives the hypocrisy behind the refined façades as she learns to balance the honesty and simplicity of her upbringing with the sophisticated etiquette of high society. Written in the form of letters, this 1778 novel offers an intimate look at coming-of-age among England's eighteenth-century upper crust. Evelina's comic misadventures provide a subtle commentary on some of the problems faced by her contemporaries, from women's limited roles to class snobbery and prejudice. Fanny Burney's witty approach to manners and mores was a significant influence on Jane Austen, and her deft combination of satire, sentimentality, and farce provides sparkling entertainment.… (mais)
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This is a comedy bordering on farce. Evelina writes letters to and from her guardian about what is happening in her life. When she meets her grandmother Mrs Duval, she insists on taking charge of Evelina, dragging her into some difficult situations. From a coach trip which results in a ‘staged’ highway robbery, leaving Mrs Duval in the mud, bound and without her curls, to a night at the opera where no one seems to know the correct etiquette for entering.

The Branghtons’ are her cousins, but the son is unruly and petulant and the girls spiteful and manipulative. After deliberately going on an evening walk down a dark alley, they become separated, and Evelina is found by Sir Clement Willoughby who takes her back to her party. It is hard to think of Sir Clement Willoughby as anything but a nuisance, but he does save Evelina from some rough young men. However, being in a carriage alone with him is not much better and without a chaperone does not look good. When the girls are not found, a search party is sent, and they blame Evelina for abandoning them.

Mr Lovel is a complete idiot and far too concerned with his own appearance. The way he embarrasses Evelina at the ball does not endear himself to anyone. Captain Mirvan’s joke with the monkey is taking things a little too far.

Lady Louisa probably best represents the aristocratic woman of the time, proud, lazy, selfish and ignorant. Compare this to Evelina’s innocent humility. She does not pretend to know everything, and this is why she seeks advice from her guardian. That guardian worries about the corruption of the city and its dangers which prove not unfounded. With no constant male protector outside the home, Evelina is in a vulnerable position with men at liberty to address her however they please.

Lord Orville is the aristocratic hero of the novel and displays both good manners, breeding, respect and consideration towards everyone he meets. He is gracious to Mrs Duval when she presumes to take his coach based on Evelina’s brief acquaintance. In contrast to Sir Clement he shows that birth does not guarantee good manners.

Fanny Burney was one of the most popular novelists of her day and like Richardson the novel is an epistolary format. Lovers of Jane Austen will immediately draw comparisons as both discuss class and the manners of polite society. Burney, however, is much more overtly funny and less subtle in her characterisation but compared to most 18th century novels you will find it a much more acceptable pace. ( )
  TraceyMadeley | Apr 20, 2021 |
In this epistolary novel, title character Evelina is the unacknowledged but legitimate daughter of a dissipated English aristocrat, and thusly raised in rural seclusion until her 17th year. Through a series of humorous events that take place in London and the resort town of Hotwells, near Bristol, Evelina learns to navigate the complex layers of 18th-century society and come under the eye of a distinguished nobleman with whom a romantic relationship is formed in the latter part of the novel. This sentimental novel, which has notions of sensibility and early romanticism, satirizes the society in which it is set and is a significant precursor to the work of Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth, whose novels explore many of the same issues.

The novel opens with a distressed letter from Lady Howard to her longtime acquaintance, the Reverend Arthur Villars, in which she reports that Mme (Madame) Duval, the grandmother of Villars' ward, Evelina Anville, intends to visit England to renew her acquaintance with her granddaughter Evelina. Eighteen years earlier, Mme Duval had broken off her relationship with her daughter Caroline, Evelina's mother, but never knew of the birth or even existence of Evelina until Evelina was in her late teens. Upon this discovery, Mme Duval desires to reclaim Evelina and whisk her away to France as her closest blood relation. Reverend Villars fears Mme Duval's influence could lead Evelina to a fate similar to that of her mother Caroline, who secretly wedded Sir John Belmont, a libertine, who afterwards denied the marriage. To keep Evelina from Mme Duval, the Reverend lets her visit Howard Grove, Lady Howard's home, on an extended holiday. While she is there, the family learns that Lady Howard's son-in-law, naval officer Captain Mirvan, is returning to England after a seven-year absence. Desperate to join the Mirvans on their trip to London, Evelina entreats her guardian to let her attend with them, promising that the visit will last only a few weeks. Villars reluctantly consents.

In London, Evelina's beauty and ambiguous social status attract unwanted attention and unkind speculation. Ignorant of the conventions and behaviours of 18th-century London society, she makes a series of humiliating (but humorous) faux pas that further expose her to social ridicule. She soon earns the attentions of two gentlemen: Lord Orville, a handsome and extremely eligible peer and pattern-card of modest, becoming behaviour; and Sir Clement Willoughby, a baronet with duplicitous intentions. Evelina's untimely reunion in London with her grandmother and the Branghtons, her long-unknown extended family, along with the embarrassment their boorish, social-climbing antics cause, soon convince Evelina that Lord Orville is completely out of reach.

The Mirvans finally return to the country, taking Evelina and Mme Duval with them. Spurred by Evelina's greedy cousins, Mme Duval concocts a plan to sue Sir John Belmont, Evelina's father, and force him to recognize his daughter's claim to his estate in court. Reverend Villars is displeased, and they decide against a lawsuit, but Lady Howard still writes to Sir John Belmont, who responds unfavourably. He does not believe it possible for Evelina to be his daughter, as he already has a young lady who is his supposed daughter (who, unbeknownst to him is actually illegitimate), and therefore assumes Mme Duval to be trying to dupe him for his money.

Mme Duval is furious and threatens to rush Evelina back to Paris to pursue the lawsuit. A second compromise sees Evelina return to London with her grandmother, where she is forced to spend time with her ill-bred Branghton cousins and their rowdy friends, but she is distracted by Mr. Macartney, a melancholy and direly-poor Scottish poet. Finding him with a pair of pistols, she supposed him to be considering suicide and bids him to look to his salvation; later he informs her that he has been contemplating not only self-destruction but more-so highway robbery. He is in dreadful financial straits, is engaged in tracing his own obscure parentage, as well as recovering from his mother's sudden death and the discovery that his beloved is actually his sister. Evelina charitably gives him her purse. Otherwise, her time with the Branghtons is uniformly mortifying: during her visit to the Marylebone pleasure garden, for instance, she is attacked by a drunken sailor and accosted by several rowdy men before being rescued by prostitutes—and in this humiliating company, she meets Lord Orville again. Sure that he can never respect her now, she is stunned when he seeks her out in London's unfashionable section and seems interested in renewing their acquaintance. When an insulting and brash letter supposedly from Lord Orville devastates her and makes her believe she misperceived him, she returns home to Berry Hill and falls ill.

Slowly recuperating from her illness, Evelina agrees to accompany her neighbour, a sarcastically tempered widow named Mrs. Selwyn, to the resort town of Clifton Heights, where she unwillingly attracts the attention of womanizer Lord Merton, on the eve of his marriage to Lord Orville's sister, Lady Louisa Larpent. Aware of Lord Orville's arrival, Evelina tries to distance herself from him because of his impertinent letter, but his gentle manners work their spell until she is torn between attraction to him and belief in his past duplicity.

The unexpected appearance of Mr. Macartney reveals an unexpected streak of jealousy in the seemingly imperturbable Lord Orville. Convinced that Macartney is a rival for Evelina's affections, Lord Orville withdraws. However, Macartney has intended only to repay his financial debt to Evelina.

Lord Orville's genuine affection for Evelina and her assurances that she and Macartney are not involved finally win out over Orville's jealousy, and he secures a meeting between Evelina and Macartney. It appears that all doubts have been resolved between Lord Orville and Evelina, especially when Mrs. Selwyn informs her that she overheard Lord Orville arguing with Sir Clement Willoughby about the latter's inappropriate attentions to Evelina. Lord Orville proposes, much to Evelina's delight. However, Evelina is distraught at the continuing gulf between herself and her father and the mystery surrounding his false daughter. Finally, Mrs. Selwyn is able to secure a surprise meeting with Sir John. When he sees Evelina, he is horrified and guilt-stricken because she clearly resembles her mother, Caroline. This means that the other Miss Belmont (the false daughter) is recognized as a fraud. Evelina is able to ease his guilt with her repeated gentle pardons and the delivery of a letter written by her mother on her deathbed in which she forgives Sir John for his behaviour if he will remove her ignominy (by acknowledging their marriage) and acknowledge Evelina as his legitimate daughter. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Mar 1, 2021 |
Plot:
Evelina grew up the ward of Reverend Villars because her mother Caroline died when she was a baby and her nobleman father John Belmont denied any knowledge of her. But now her family is catching up with her in the form of Madame Duval, Caroline’s mother. Madame Duval never knew she had a granddaughter, is determined to connect with Evelina, and wants to France. Not trusting Madame Duval’s judgement, Reverend Villars fears that Evelina will find a similar fate as her mother, so he arranges that Evelina visit his friend Lady Howard at her estate. But when Lady Howard resolves to go to London and take Evelina with her, an overwhelmed Evelina herself is introduced to the world at large and its dangers after all, especially in the form of two very different men: Lord Orvell and Sir Willoughby.

Evelina was quite the discovery for me. It’s a well-written, often funny and always engaging novel. Simply fantastic.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2019/03/26/evelina-fanny-burney/ ( )
  kalafudra | Feb 25, 2021 |
No review/didn't finish. I gave this a good shot, hoping for a sublime Jane Austen-ish reading experience, since Fanny Burney was supposedly a big influence on her. But what this novel lacked in the charm and wit that characterize Austen's work, it made up for in volume- it seemed to be about 5 million pages long. I finally gave up at about the 2 million page mark. It occurred to me while I was reading that if you lived in Burney's time, this was probably riveting stuff. But for modern audiences, it hasn't aged well.
  AngeH | Jan 2, 2020 |
I picked this one up because it said “World’s Classic” on the cover and I’d never heard of it. Evelina is a young (17) orphan girl entering society (the subtitle is “or a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World”) in 1778. She goes to Balls, Operas, and Plays. She encounters a Rough-Mannered Sea Captain, a Rakish Aristocrat, Comical Foreigners, Venal Bourgeoisie, a Mysterious Scotsman, a Noble Lord, and some Ladies of Negotiable Virtue. After some turns of fortune, she is discovered to be an Heiress, marries the Noble Lord, and all Ends Happily.


Reading a novel like this is almost like reading science fiction about the social habits of space aliens. The customs of the time are so different from what we’re used to that the characters might as well be Martians. The class distinctions are ironclad; not one servant in the book has a name (they’re “the maid”, “the footman”, “the coachman”, etc.). There is, of course, almost no mention of the underside of London life at the time; there are no poor people, no criminals, no dirt, no squalor (I say “almost” because Evelina does meet some ladies who are no better than they should be, and it is assumed at one point that one character has written a letter while intoxicated.) Oddly, for a time in which religion is much more important than nowadays, none of the characters ever goes to church (perhaps it’s just so natural that it’s assumed). The epistolary style is an exotic antique (although it was used, probably for its anachronistic value, in the recent The Egyptologist). The morals of the time can be amusing; it’s horribly improper for a young lady to dance with a gentleman unless they’ve been introduced, which creates a sort of chicken-and-egg problem; who does the first introduction? For some odd reason, (perhaps the formality of manner) the whole thing reminds me of The Tale of Genji; there’s a similar glimpse into a very different world.


Reading something like this, in addition to is value as literary and social history, raises some questions about our own society. What will we look like to people 200 years hence? Will some of our cherished values seem laughable? Will the people of 2206 gasp in horror because we allowed abortions? Or because we didn’t fully support a woman’s right to choice? Will they roll on the floor in hysterics over the prurience of Sex in the City, or be disgusted by its permissiveness? Will our clothing styles be prudish or pornographic?


No Jane Austen, but at least three stars for the entertainment value. ( )
  setnahkt | Dec 8, 2017 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Frances Burneyautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Bloom, Edward A.Editorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Doody, Margaret AnnIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Doody, Margaret AnneEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gibbs, LewisIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Jones, VivienIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Nickolls, JosephArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rhys, ErnestIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Thomson, HughIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Good-looking, kind-hearted Evelina Anville has grown up in rural obscurity as the ward of a country parson. At the age of seventeen, she begins her progress from provincial life to fashionable London ― a transition that's complicated by vulgar relatives and her own naiveté. Evelina's shrewd intelligence, however, perceives the hypocrisy behind the refined façades as she learns to balance the honesty and simplicity of her upbringing with the sophisticated etiquette of high society. Written in the form of letters, this 1778 novel offers an intimate look at coming-of-age among England's eighteenth-century upper crust. Evelina's comic misadventures provide a subtle commentary on some of the problems faced by her contemporaries, from women's limited roles to class snobbery and prejudice. Fanny Burney's witty approach to manners and mores was a significant influence on Jane Austen, and her deft combination of satire, sentimentality, and farce provides sparkling entertainment.

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2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Penguin Australia.

Edições: 0140433473, 0141198869

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