[BURNEY, FRANCES] Evelina, Or, A Young Lady's Entrance into the World.
London: T. Lowndes, 1778. First edition. Three volumes. Contemporary calf with original red lettering labels, slipcase. 6 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches; [xvi], 235 , the errata at end of preface, ads to verso of final text leaf; [facsimile title] pages 3-263, ads to verso of final leaf; [facsimile title] pages 3-263, ads to verso of final leaf. With facsimile title pages to volumes II & III, the bindings repaired at an early date replacing the leather along joints and spine tips and securing the hinges within, a few leaves chipped and frayed, with an ink notation at end volume I reporting this set from the library of Eugene Field, a few contemporary ink signatures of a Mr. Morris, sold with all faults.
Rare in any condition, Evelina was Fanny Burney's first novel and was written at night in a "disguised hand" to hide her identity from the publishers. Ultimately, the success of the book rendered anonymity impossible. The book is among the most important novels of the 18th century, and greatly influenced female writers thereafter; no less than Virginia Woolf wrote Virginia that "Jane Austen should have laid a wreath upon the grave of Fanny Burney" (missing the tragic irony that Austen, in fact, died more than a score of years before Burney). We trace few sets at auction. Rothschild 545
C The Julius and Theodore Cohn Library
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