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Cecilia, Or, Memoirs of an Heiress

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Length: 1,228 pages19 hours

Summary

"Cecilia, or Memoirs of an Heiress", was written by Frances Burney in 1782, shortly after the success of her first novel, "Evelina". The novel tells the story of Cecilia Beverley, a young woman who may only receive an inheritance from her uncle upon marrying a man who agrees to take the name Beverley. The work is a scathing commentary on English aristocratic society, at that time a male-oriented world of pretension and politics. Burney is noted for her exploration of the lives of women in this controversial time, and her sharp criticism of the social climate. Admirers of Burney's works include Dr. Samuel Johnson, William Makepeace Thackeray and Jane Austen, who may have taken the title of "Pride and Prejudice" from the lines of this very novel. Although the story is set in 18th Century London, the obstacles of gender politics and the female identity remain relevant today.

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