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Miss Burney's Evelina








The story of Evelina being printed when the authoress was but
seventeen years old is proved to have been sheer invention, to trumpet
the work into notoriety; since it has no more truth in it than a
paid-for newspaper puff. The year of Miss Burney's birth was long
involved in studied obscurity, and thus the deception lasted, until
one fine day it was ascertained, by reference to the register of the
authoress' birth, that she was a woman of six or seven-and-twenty,
instead of a "Miss in her teens," when she wrote Evelina. The story
of her father's utter ignorance of the work being written by her, and
recommending her to read it, as an exception to the novel class, has
also been essentially modified. Miss Burney, (then Madame D'Arblay,) is
said to have taken the characters in her novel of Camilla from the
family of Mr. Lock, of Norbury Park, who built for Gen. D'Arblay the
villa in which the work was written, and which to this day is called
"Camilla Lacy." By this novel, Madame D'Arblay is said to have realized
3000 guineas.

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