book cover of Evelina
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Evelina

(1778)
Or, a Young Lady's Entrance Into the World
A novel by

 
 
A work by turns hilarious and grim, Evelina tells the story of a young woman's education in the ways of the world, vividly rendering life in eighteenth-century England.

Raised by a pastor after her mother died and her father abandoned her, Evelina leaves the seclusion of the country for her first season out, encounters all manner of people -- from prospective husbands to rakes to vulgar relatives -- and endures all manner of trials before she achieves her final triumph.

Samuel Johnson called Burney "a real wonder."

"Before Evelina," W. D. Howells proclaimed, "the heart of girlhood had never been so fully opened in literature."

Genre: Literary Fiction

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