Friday, 2 September 2011

The Romantic Fanny Burney

Fanny Burney was already an established novelist and playwright when in 1793 she came to visit her friend Susannah Lock at Norbury Park near Mickleham. Staying just on the other side of the Mole at Juniper Hall was a group of French noblemen who had fled to England to escape the guillotine. One of these was General Alexandre D'Arblay, with whom Fanny soon fell in love. The Burney family disapproved of the Frenchman on the grounds that he was French, Catholic and penniless. However, Fanny was financially independent due to the success of her writings, so she went ahead and married her Frenchman. They bought a house at nearby West Humble that they named Camillia Cottage after Fanny’s most profitable novel. The two lived happily in England and France until the general died in 1818.


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