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Cecilia; Or, Memoirs of an Heiress - Volume 3

Fanny Burney

Book Overview: 

The plot of Cecilia revolves around the heroine, Cecilia Beverley, whose inheritance from her uncle comes with the stipulation that she find a husband who will accept her name.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .er to stay, her presence being some relief to her solitude: but finding it ineffectual, she earnestly pressed her to hasten her entrance into her own house, that their absence might be shortened, and their meeting more sprightly.

Cecilia passed the night in planning her behaviour for the next day; she found how much was expected from her by Mrs Delvile, who had even exhorted her to decline the interview if doubtful of her own strength. Delvile's firmness in insisting the refusal should come directly from herself, surprised, gratified and perplexed her in turn; she had imagined, that from the moment of the discovery, he would implicitly have submitted to the award of a parent at once so reverenced and so beloved, and how he had summoned courage to contend with her she could not conjecture: yet that courage and that contention astonished not more than they soothed her, since, from her knowledge of his filial tenderness, she considered them as the m. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I happen to love this book more than the combined works of Jane Austen (blasphemy, I know). While lacking Austen's sparkling style, I find this book has emotional connection and focus on social issues than I find lacking in Austen's works. It's probably my favorite 18th century novel, in fact.

The...more

Cecilia, or "Memoirs of an Heiress", is the second novel by English author Fanny Burney, published in 1782. Burney was a novelist, diarist and playwright. She wrote in all four novels, eight plays, one biography and twenty volumes of journals and letters. Fanny was the third child in a family of...more

I little thought, when I first picked this book up with a sense more of duty than anticipation, how extraordinarily fun it would prove to be (not least because I managed to convince my wife that Fanny Burney was eighteenth-century slang for thrush). For the last week I have been rushing through w...more

Cecilia is a young heiress entrusted to three guardians; the spendthrift Mr. Harrell who only cares about keeping up social appearances at parties, the rich miser Mr. Briggs who lives in squalor and wont give Cecilia a penny of her fortune until she comes of age, and the haughty Mr. Delville who...more

Cecilia Beverly is a young orphan whose relatives left her with a large fortune, three quarelling trustees, and a mind of unsurpassed delicacy and gentility. The first volume is set during the tumultuous time Cecilia spent with one trustee, who "borrows" huge sums of money from her and eventually...more

Jane Austen was inspired by Fanny Burney. To such a degree that the famous phrase Pride and Prejudice first appeared in Cecilia. Austen later made that particular phrase immortal. Catherine Morland, the wonderful heroine of Austen's Northanger Abbey, even reads Cecilia and praises it to the skies...more

The author of this book is believed that had a great influence on later writers, and this becomes even more apparent in this, which is known amongst others because of this comes the phrase pride and prejudice that I believe something reminds you. Of course, the influence is not limited to one phr...more

We need to get a couple of things out of the way before I get to the proper review.

i) This is too long.
ii) This shouldn't be read the way you'd read a Hemingway novel--sitting down and intensely fretting through the intense pages of intensity. This should be read the way you watch a TV series:...more

Though her parents and the uncle who raised her have died, life should be almost perfect for open-hearted Cecilia. She has inherited enough money to be independent and to live the life that is her ideal, righting wrongs and helping the less privileged. Unfortunately, anything in this long book th...more

In short, Cecilia is an heiress of great fortune who is also blessed with a wealth of beauty, native refinement, and intelligence. She is a year or so from reaching her majority. Until then she must reside with one of her three guardians. These all prove to be a problem. While Jane has told us th...more

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