Did you know that Frances Burney was born today in 1752? She was an author and playwright. She started writing her first novel and plays when she was a child. During her life she wrote 4 novels, 8 plays, 1 biography, and 20 volumes of journals and letters. As a teenager, she started to write in her journal and continued to add entries to her journal for 72 years. Frances Burney’s journal entries, novels, and plays give us an idea of what life in the 18th century.
We hope that you have a journal-worthy day at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
Frances Burney’s works inspired other writers such as Jane Austen and William Makepeace Thackeray.
Supposedly, by the age of 8, Frances Burney still had not learned the alphabet. Some scholars suggest that Frances may have suffered from dyslexia. While her sisters were sent to Paris to be educated, Frances Burney was kept at home and mostly self-educated. Many scholars see Frances Burney as someone who worked very hard to overcome a childhood disability.
When she was 34, Frances Burney was offered the post “Keeper of the Robes” for Queen Charlotte. Although the job was very demanding Frances developed a warm relationship with the Queen and the Princesses.
Frances Burney married General Alexandre D’Arblay in 1793. Frances’ father initially disapproved of the marriage. In 1801, Frances moved to Paris with her husband and young son. They were only supposed to remain there for a year, but the start of the war between England and France extended the stay to ten years.
Frances Burney possibly had breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. Considering this was before anesthetics, she was conscious, feeling, and aware during the procedure. Her first-person account, sent to her sister, is one of the earliest accounts of a mastectomy.
At the time, women were discouraged from writing or publishing. Frances destroyed her first written novel, and her first published novel was done so anonymously. Nevertheless, her father guessed the truth. As this news spread, Frances Burney gained almost immediate fame with the success of her first published novel.
Some of Frances Burney’s works include: Evelina, Cecilia, Camilla, The Witlings, and The Wanderer.