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Frances Burney and her readers. The negotiated image.

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Anna Paluchowska-Messing

Was it possible for an eighteenth-century woman to become a celebrity and remain respectable? Could women’s commercial success in literature be reconciled with contemporary ideals of prescribed feminine domesticity? The rugged trajectory marked by the critical reception of the works by Frances Burney (1752–1840), an English novelist, diarist and playwright, reveals the dilemmas she faced at different stages of her career from a debutante to an acclaimed literary figure. Burney’s long life is set against the background of changing conventions in culture consumption and appreciation, and the book highlights the successes and failures of the techniques which the author employed in her texts for projecting a favourable image of herself as a woman and writer.

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