A Comparison of “Evelina” and “Camilla” English Literature

Table of Content

French republics Burney ( 13 June 1752 – 6 January 1840 ), besides known as Franny Burney, was born to a musician and scholar male parent, Charles Burney ( 1726-1814 ), Esther Sleepe Burney ( 1725-1762 ) the granddaughter of a Gallic refugee in Lynn Regis, England. She started her literary calling in 1768 by the publication of her journal-diaries about her household and relatives with a strong sense of word picture and storytelling merely when she was 16.

Along with her journal-diaries that extended up to more than seventy old ages, Burney besides published four novels named Evelina ( 1778 ), Cecilia ( 1782 ), Camilla ( 1796 ), and The Wanderer ( 1814 ). Her dramas are divided into calamities and satiric comedies and include “The Witlings ” ( 1779 ), a satiric comedy,  “Edwy and Elgiva ” ( 1790 ) which is a verse calamity and among her last dramas that are all satiric comedies “Love and Fashion ” ( 1799 ), “The Woman Hater ” ( 1801 ) and  “A Busy Day ” ( 1801 ) are well-known.

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Consequently, she became one of the most of import 18th-century novelists who had a direct consequence on the development of prose fiction along with Samuel Richardson and Jane Austen. This grasp has gone to the extent that Austen has mentioned the name of Cecilia and Camilla in her fresh Northanger Abbey ( 1798 ) when she references:

”And what are you reading, Miss -A? Oh! It is merely a novel! ‘ replies the immature lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference or fleeting shame. ‘It is merely Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda ‘; or, in short, merely some work in which the greatest powers of the head are displayed, in which the most thorough cognition of human nature, the happiest word picture of its assortments, the liveliest gushs of humor and wit, are conveyed to the universe in the best-chosen linguistic communication. ” ( Austen, chapter 5 )

Burney published her first novel, Evelina or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World in 1978 anonymously and by the clip, the writing was revealed, it gained an immediate and rapid celebrity and besides the publication of Burney’s following novels added to the success of Evelina and they all together made adult females’ novel-writing to derive a higher degree of critical regard than it had of all time attained before ( Spencer, 23 ).

Evelina as its other name besides claims is regarded to be Burney’s ain entryway to society and universe of authors as a professional. As a spread outing literary market afforded many chances for female authors, Burney took a good and broad attending from her readers with her supporters to whom she should not be compared ( Spencer, 24 ).

Samuel Johnson’s high congratulations on Burney’s first novel, Evelina, was another factor that added to the success of the novel and to Burney’s repute. The purpose of the undermentioned essay is chiefly a brief comparing of two novels of Frances Burney, Evelina, and Camilla and besides traveling through her manner of authorship.

The first subdivision trades with a brief sum-up of Evelina and besides trades with the techniques, Burney has used in this novel. The 2nd subdivision trades with a brief sum-up of Camilla and goes through the techniques Burney has used in this novel. The Third subdivision compares the two novels in their feminist factors and besides the construct of silenced adult females in 18th century England covering besides how the two supporters regard their love for the male characters. The 4th subdivision continues the comparing with respect to the violent amusing construct in the two novels get downing with a definition of the term and its political usage in 18th-century novels by female authors.

Chapter 1

Evelina starts with a nerve-racking missive which is sent from Lady Howard to Reverend Arthur Villars that the grandma of the 18 twelvemonths old miss who he had raised like his ain, Mme. Duval, who had non acknowledge her granddaughter, Evelina, was traveling to see them. Reverend feared about this affair and of Mme. Duval’s influence on Evelina as he thought of the same sad stopping that put Caroline, Evelina’s female parent, to decease in shame old ages before.

As a consequence, he keeps her on a drawn-out vacation at Lady Howard’s house but so has to accept reluctantly to Evelina’s petition to fall in Captain Mirvan ‘s household to their few hebdomads trip to London. Captain Mirvan who is the boy in the jurisprudence of Lady Howard and a naval officer is back to England after seven old ages. As Evelina is nescient of the conventions and behaviors of the 18-century society, she ends up conveying herself an unwanted attending both because of her beauty and her equivocal societal position ( Burney, ).

She shortly attracts the attending of two gentlemen as Lord Orville, a handsome and highly eligible equal who Evelina besides is attracted to, and Sir Clement Willoughby, a Bart with ambidextrous purposes. And besides her reunion with her grandma there and her societal position becomes known to everyone by Mme. Duval shouting sentence as ‘Let me non lose my hapless girl the 2nd clip! ‘ ( Burney, 54 ), as it is non a really long clip since the grandma knows of her being because the Reverend had kept it a secret fearing Evelina’s hereafter.

The narrative so continues with their return to Howard Grove and Evelina’s grandma, Mme. Duval composing a missive to Sir John Belmont, Evelina’s male parent, to acknowledge his girl as his ain or she would convey him a case which makes Belmont ferocious and he refuses to allow Evelina run into him. Sir Clement Willoughby besides visits Howard Grove and continues his aggressive chase of Evelina.

Then Mme. Duval decides to speak to the Reverend and to take Evelina with her to London which he agrees to allow Evelina to be with her grandma for some clip, where she is lead to a more close relationship with Lord Orville. A series of misinterpretations happen between the two supporters that are resulted from other characters’ ill-intentions for Evelina that she and Orville get the better of them all.

The Reverend continues directing Evelina letters including adverting one of the letters that were written by her female parent to Sir. Belmont and that he thinks it is the clip for Evelina to run into his male parent. The fresh terminals with a reunion of Evelina and his male parent and matrimony to Lord Orville.

The novel is embodied in a series of letters and in other words, it has an epistolatory signifier. The subject of Evelina’s tragic household history and its menace to her hereafter dominates the early exchanges in the novel, in which Evelina, herself, plays no portion. Her voice appears in the 8th missive and it makes the tone and the narrative concern an alteration ( Spencer, 30 ) .

After Sir Belmont and Evelina meet, the meeting of girl and male parent for the first clip and when he acknowledges his girl by seeing her as the image of her female parent organize the emotional flood tide of the novel. This sentimental novel, with its esthesia and early romanticism impressions, satirizes the society in which it is set and is an important precursor to subsequent works by Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth, whose novels explore many of the same issues ( Spencer, 30 ).

As the novel goes frontward from the independent Evelina whose voice is non in the novel, Burney develops her character in the following chapters as ‘you must larn non merely to justice, but move for yourself ‘ ( Burney, 166 ). She besides decides in her ain will and in her dealings with Mr. Macartney, her friend, to stand up for him when the Branghtons, her ill-natured cousins, mock him hot-footing in to salvage him from an act of self-destruction, by giving him money and advice.

The novel as mentioned in Introduction was admired by literary critics including Samuel Johnson because of its amusing position of affluent English society and for the realistic portraiture of propertyless London idioms and every bit good is finally a sarcasm of the sort of oppressive masculine values that shaped an immature adult female’s life in the 18th century ( Wikipedia ).

Chapter 2

Camilla, besides known as A Picture of Youth, is the 3rd novel by Frances Burney, foremost published in 1796. It deals with the marital concerns of Camilla Tyrold and her sisters, the Sweet and beautiful Lavinia, the deformed, but highly sort, Eugenia, their brother Lionel who by his Acts of the Apostless makes the amusing subdivisions of the novel and their highly beautiful cousin Indiana Lynmere.

The chief secret plan of the fresh trades with the narrative of the love matter between Camilla and Edgar Mandlebert. They survive a batch of adversities caused by misinterpretations and errors, in the way of true love. Unlike Evelina, Camilla is non is far from perfect in both beauty and intelligence and does non hold much common sense either but both characters suffer the same jobs that an adult female could confront in 18th century English society.

The novel was highly popular at the clip of its publication and is regarded as an economic love affair of Burney. Edgar decides to look for Camilla’s mistakes based on advice by a friend and be certain of her love for him before matrimony but Camilla ne’er confesses her love for Edgar and he merely finds it during her confession to her female parent. She is non even able to compose it down as her sister writes a verse form explicating her love.

Many lucks are changed when Sir Hugh, their unconditioned, generous, and impractical uncle foremost gift Camilla with the promise of inheriting his luck and so, when he becomes responsible for Eugenia’s malformations by exposing her to little syphilis, shifts the luck to her which changes everything in the novel ( Burney ).

The novel is an amusing but more complicated one than Burney’s other novels with a happy stoping. As in Evelina, Burney inserts visible radiation and dark and amusing subdivisions and Gothic elements and creates many societal, emotional, and mental quandary that enlightens the spread between coevals. As a Ph.D. Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California, Emily Hodgson Anderson states that in Camilla, Burney traces the heroine’s advancement from a black externally imposed public presentation of restraint, to a self-imposed public presentation of agony, a public presentation that expresses the internal tortures hidden by her old function.

For the bulk of the novel, Camilla is forced into a theatrical place; unwillingly on the show before public regard, she is told to feign indifference to the adult male she loves. By following the black effects of Camilla’s docile obeisance to these bids, the novel criticizes the ruse of such societal playing ( Anderson, 12 ).

Chapter 3

A feminist reading of the two novels focuses on the 18th-century English society which is shown by Burney and in which adult females are capable to bear socially and economically unfairness. Evelina and Camilla concern themselves chiefly with female manners of communicating and with the unsafe silences into which societal political orientations enclosed adult females who aspired to be judged suitably decorous and feminine ( Epstein, 276 ).

Burney represents heroines who are disinherited and fighting in a society of males largely shown as seducers and rapers. In both novels, Burney has shown female characters to be good by being frightened of making incorrect ( Mcmaster, 2 ). She does make heroine women’s rightists but alternatively, she creates them as sick persons under the societal countenances that maintain adult females’ subordination, and are witting of them as disablements; but like their writer, they abide by them.

In both novels the heroines are nonwriters but they are made to experience guilty about self-expression. In both novels, Evelina and Camilla, authorization figures declare that they must ne’er state their love, even though their felicity and frequently that of the workforces they love depends on this declaration. Silenced adult females are besides resulted from the ground to screen some 3rd party ( ever a male ) or they do non make bold to make so for the fright of arousing male force ( normally an affaire d’honneur ). So in one manner or another, their lips must be sealed because of workforces.

In Evelia a contemplation of her intense love and regard is seen for her authorization figures, foremost Mr. Villar ( the Reverend ) who remains her moral usher, so her male parent and accordingly Lord Orville as her hubby. And besides, in Camilla, the hero, Edgar Mandelebert, intends to be like Lord Orville, both lover, and moral usher. But the accent displacement from his pleasance in advancing Camilla’s right behavior to his desire for her unquestioning obeisance for his ain interest. Both characters are in love before they are proposed to, but Evelina needs to be told that she’s in love though the reader knows it for 100s of pages as for illustration when Mr. Villars says “Your hearta was wholly gone ere you suspected it was in danger ” ( Burney, 309 ).

But on the contrary, Camilla has a longer conflict to contend for she tries to stamp down her love for Edgar believing him committed to another adult female, but she admits it, although non acknowledging it with anyone, and non to Edgar himself who most wants to cognize ( Mcmaster, 5 ).

Since each miss has been characterized as merrily unfastened and Frank in their expressions and behaviors, this black secret and the silence entails crisis in their individuality and the daintiness becomes anguish and experience in self-alienation which in the instance of Camilla consequences to madness at the flood tide of her love narrative. Evelina doesn’t detect her love until 3rd volume but as the reader goes on, although she is nonexpressive about it, she writes about it in her letters.

On the contrary in Camilla, the heroine is under more than the usual limitations about the find and look of her love and the prohibitions of free look for the adult females, makes Camilla a sick person and self-alienated character and she is “shocked at the witting province of her ain head ” ( Burney, 193 ) which this hidden love should be kept at all costs ( Mcmaster, 9 ).

But male characters have no job of showing their ideas and feelings as when Camilla’s brother, Lionel, claims that if Edgar planned to get married Indiana, he would hold said so ( Burney, 227 ). Camilla though like Evelina is frequently in a torment of silence but her silence returns less from embarrassment or rawness than from consciousness of a moral trade stoppage: “Modesty and dishonor both interfered with her desire of an account ” ( Burney, 508 ) with a large difference with Evelina who feels quiet better in composing, Camilla suppresses both address and authorship and in other words for both pen and tongue life as an adult female in the 18th century.

Chapter 4

To get down with the 4th subdivision of comparing the two novels, a description of the term violent comedy seems necessary. As Audrey Bilger, a Ph.D. Assistant Professor at Claremont McKenna College defines violent comedy, the construct by the 18th-century adult females writers serves as a powerful vehicle for feminist protest and treads an all right line between wit and horror. It asserts witty control over life’s paradoxes and an absurdness that such a wit provides a key to the mental province of laden people ( Bilger, 323 ).

When the societal state of affairs becomes so oppressive that lunacy is a possible response, like in the instance of Camilla, wit is besides a possibility, in the instance of Evelina. This is the same affair that Freud argues that wit provides psychic alleviation for people in desperate fortunes and Freud’s term of “Gallows wit ” for the most utmost signifier of survival wit, exhibits a ferocious rejection of agony ( Bilger, 325 ).

As was discussed in 3rd subdivision of this study about feminist force per unit area for reform during the last decennary of the 18th century, Bilger further claims that many workforces felt no obliging demand to handle adult female better and so adult females authors had to happen ways to show their defeat with male control over societal alteration. As an amusing mercantile establishment, many adult females authors resorted to force ( Bilger, 326 ).

This is the same factor that is seen in all Burney’s novels as when she explains a lurid violent scene related to a female character in the novel in a humorous manner. Burney in legion scenes of amusing exposure, displays an apprehension of the jobs of exteriorizing adult females and she invites the readers to express joy but she besides refuses to fault the victims and alternatively asks the reader to fault the system that allows adult females to be made into eyeglasses. Her fictions contain so much force that the reader should often take between laughter and sorrow ( Bilger, 327 ).

Readers can understand the agony of the adult females at the clip between when they know why they laugh in its face. For illustration in Evelina, the foot race between the two aged adult females, when Mrs. Mirvan accommodates her beastly hubby at all costs and besides when Mme. Duval was beaten up and left tied up in a ditch.

Another factor that a violent amusing author uses is setting female grotesque characters in a context like in the instance of Camilla with the broken sister and in Evelina, the old and aging adult females foot race, to dramatize the force of the male-dominated society. In Camilla, low-class people ridicule Eugenia’s malformations when she and Camilla are trapped in Mr. Dubster ‘s gazebo.

Besides in another subdivision Mrs. Mittin and Camilla wander around the seaside town, are mistaken for robbers because of their centric behavior, and finally, happen themselves cornered by a rabble. These scenes derive their comedy from female uncomfortableness. Further believes that Burney used the laugh of Medusa, a women’s rightist laugher that echoes through all her fiction Hagiographas ( Bilger, 338 ).

As was discussed in the above paragraphs, it is seen that Burney was one of the adult females authors who dramatized what it was like to fight in isolation that felt like unwellness, disaffection that felt like lunacy and besides obscureness to get the better of the force per unit area of the 18th century English society and what is expected of an adult female to move.

She spent her calling oppugning the beliefs that made the adult female’s love a mere reverberation of the adult male’s, demoing that first an adult female loves independently of the adult male, 2nd, that she has witting entree to emotion, and 3rd, that experiencing love an adult female has a right to joint it. She besides by roasting the adult females Acts of the Apostless of mere obeisance or their conditions and bounds in the society makes the reader to knock the conventions by the society in which she was populating.

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A Comparison of “Evelina” and “Camilla” English Literature. (2019, May 02). Retrieved from


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