The Press in the Garden: Rediscovering Frances Burney’s Surrey
Tuesday 25 October, 7.30pm to 8.30pm, in person at Leatherhead Library, 68 Church Street, Leatherhead, KT22 8DP
This talk is part of my ongoing collaboration with Surrey Heritage and Surrey Libraries to engage local communities with the life and works of Frances Burney in the 1790s. Burney spent a good few years of that decade in the countryside. Though a London/city woman, finally released after many stifling years of service at Court, Burney develops a new passion for the countryside in Surrey where she lived with her new family and concurrently, an unremitting engagement with writing, the stage and the publishing market.
I shall write more about my collaboration with Surrey stakeholders. Here I want to mention that my focus on a single decade, the 1790s, has been very rewarding in terms of “Opening Romanticism.” The poster of my talk, for one, is a teaser for further research I am carrying out. At the same time, Burney’s new household and the political, cultural and social discourses revolving around it, turned out to be pivotal in terms in the societal spin offs my MSCA project may have. My Autumn blog posts will develop these avenues of research further.
PRESENTATION OF THE LECTURE:
Frances Burney (1752-1840), also known as Fanny Burney, was a novelist, diarist and playwright. In this talk, Francesca Saggini will explore her close links with Surrey in the 1790s, her marriage to the French exile, Alexandre d’Arblay at Mickleham on 28 July 1793 and the three houses that she called home around Great Bookham: Phoenice Farm, Fair Field House and Camilla Cottage. For Burney, recovering from a stifling Royal appointment at Court, these were precious places of intimacy in a rural setting that inspired her creativity and led to the publication of her popular novel, Camilla, or a Picture of Youth (1796). These cottage gardens, set in Surrey’s countryside provided a retreat from the world, a precious place where Burney could grow as a writer and develop her literary career.
Based on a work at https://blogs.ed.ac.uk/fsaggini/?p=184.