Revisiting the Work of Frances Burney, “Mother of English Fiction”
This Week on the History of Literature Podcast
with Jacke Wilson
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today? Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.
She was admired by Dr. Johnson, revered by Jane Austen, and referred to as “the mother of English fiction” by Virginia Woolf. In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the life and works of Frances Burney (1752-1840), author of the influential early novels Evelina (1778), Cecilia (1782), and Camilla (1796).