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Cecilia: Or Memoirs of an Heiress (Oxford World's Classics) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 11. September 2008


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'scholarly edition ... a welcome addition to the roster of available eighteenth-century texts ... Scholars will undoubtedly prefer this edition of Cecilia for its textual accuracy and will appreciate the help that the various appendices and the annotation will give to students' Elizabeth Brophy, College of New Rochelle, Eighteenth-Century Fiction

Synopsis

Cecilia is an heiress, but she can only keep her fortune if her husband will consent to take her surname. Fanny Burney's unusual love story and deft social satire was much admired on its first publication in 1782 for its subtle interweaving of comedy, humanity, and social analysis. Controversial in its time, this eighteenth-century novel seems entirely fresh in relation to late twentieth-century concerns.

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64 von 65 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Amazingly Modern 5. Dezember 2001
Von Jax G., writer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Oh what a treat! Don't be dismayed by the length, this is delightful! Unlike most authors of long fiction, Burney actually manages to stay on task and not wander into thoughts of war and whatever. This book is 941 pages because 941 pages of things happen. This is the story of Cecilia, a young heiress from the country. When her family dies she is left with three guardians: the proud Mr. Delvile, the miserly Mr. Briggs, and the husband of her childhood friend, Mr. Harrel. She moves in with the Harrels and is escorted into the London high life - parties, visiting, the opera, and scores of gentleman anxious to make the acquaintence of a beautiful heiress. Cecilia is not impressed. The commentary on 18th Century London life is scathing - and remarkably apropos to modern life as well.
One night at a masquerade ball she is saved from the devil, or a partier dressed as such, by a charming man in a domino, the first real person Cecilia has met. He knows who she is, where she comes from, and who her guardians are, but Cecilia cannot even discover his name. At the end of the evening he disappears, but the seeds of love are planted - if only Cecilia knew who he was! Thoughts of her new acquaintence are interrupted though, as she realizes that the Harrels are quickly going in to more debt than they will every be able to pay off, and their party train is not slowing down for the emminent crash to come.
The most amazing thing about this book is how modern it is. Though set in the late 18th century, the problems and scenarios transfer easily into our modern conscious. One of the central issues in the novel is that Cecilia will lose her inheritance if whoever she marries does not take her last name. Have we as a society yet gotten over this? Not by a long shot. The descriptions of the different characters are as funny as they are scathing - yet these gossips, fortune-hunters, scatter-brains, and denialists still fill our world today (I'm the scatter-brain). As the book progresses it moves more from satire and into soap opera (hence my final decision to give it 4 not 5 stars). It becomes less intelligent, but no less engaging as a roller coaster of twists and turns are thrown in the path of Cecilia and her desire for her one true love.
35 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
One of the first modern novels - engaging and timeless. 20. April 2005
Von Tom Leoni - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
It is a known fact that novelist Jane Austen looked upon Frances Burney for inspiration. Austen must have recognized the genius of this late-18th Century female writer, and whether or not she ever matched Burney's multi-faceted quality is still an open question.

On the surface, this is the tale of Miss Cecilia Beverley, a young, beautiful and wealthy heiress looking for the suitable match - hardly an original theme. But under this veil, there is the dramatic genius of a novelist whose characters impersonate the virtues and vices of her time in vivid tones much more reminiscent of Dickens than of Austen.

Miss Beverley's path to love and marriage winds its way through a series of circumstances, most of which are engendered by her agenda-driven acquaintances, guardians, friends and false-friends. From a dramatic perspective, the pace is quick, and the reader's emotions are immediately engaged for Cecilia - a fresh yet not prudish heroine whose temperate virtues never degenerate into the caricaturesque. Will she find love, or will she succumb to the many traps laid before her? The reader will find many good twists in this regard!

An acute observer of human nature, Burney populates her novel with personality-types that are as current today as they were then - from the regretful young man who married into money in a haste to the empty-headed socialite with more wealth than sense. However, the author never presents these characters from a moralizing position - and her implied judgment of some of the characters never borders on the proselytizing. Drama is always kept alive by highly dynamic scenes (I don't want to give anything away, but I assure you that they are good) and by lots of tension between characters.

The daughter of a famed musicologist, Dr. Burney, the author manages to weave the thread of her own views on aesthetics, which she does tastefully and unintrusively adding a wonderful dimension to the story. At times you feel like you are sitting at a fashionable dinner-table hearing duscussions about the relative merits of Handel's music versus Italian opera.

In all, this remains one of my favorite novels. Although the book is relatively long, the good writing, captivating plot and the tasty character-studies make the read quick and intense. Also, Burney never indulges in lengthy descriptions, off-stage scenes or other tracts that would otherwise slow down the good pace of the story for the modern reader. As a matter of fact, I loved this book and its author so much that I purchased the original 1781 edition.

As an interesting aside, Frances Burney's biography makes in itself an interesting novel. She grew up in a culturally-fertile environment, became and expatriate who married a Frenchman in the height of the trouble-years between England and France, and survived a mastectomy without anesthetic to live well into her eighties.

Why she is not better known as an author and a great personality remains a mystery to me.
24 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Why isn't Fanny Burney famous? 13. Mai 2003
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Why isn't Fanny Burney famous? That's exactly what I began to wonder after a friend convinced me that I should read Evelina. I thought I hated 18th century literature based on the class I took on it in college--if only we had read Fanny Burney then!
She writes with wit and style--it's easy to see why Jane Austen admired her so much! Even though this book is very lengthy, it is not possible to get bored reading it, and although times have changed a lot since Fanny Burney's time, the book still seems alive and relevant to modern readers as many of the unfortunate realities of society that Cecilia struggles with are still with us today in different forms. The characters in this novel are so real you will feel like you know them by the end of the book. Some of the chapters are so funny you will find yourself laughing out loud! I think Fanny Burney deserves to be much more famous. It would be wonderful if someone would make a film of this novel to help spread the word that Fanny Burney's books are great reading!
14 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A great book! 13. März 2002
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This was truely an enjoyable reading experience. Surprisingly for a book of this time period, it got off right away to a super start and just got better as the pages turned. Burney's ability with the English language was well beyond imressive, it was stunning. She quickly developed an inspired set of characters interacting with one another in delightful scenes. The masquerade ball was hilarious. I heartily recommend this outstanding piece of literature.
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A source for Jane Austen 26. Januar 1998
Von rjohnson@sjs.org - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
How many readers know that Jane Austen's title "Pride and Prejudice" is actually a quotation from Fanny Burney's "Cecilia"? Perhaps Austen even meant her readers to read her novel in the light of the earlier one. "Cecilia" is interesting, a novel about a man and woman both of whom need to unbend to come together. It reflects well the interest in moral and psychological intensity in its time and helps dispel the notion that women writers were not taken seriously in their time. This is a once-a-decade read but well worth the effort.
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