April 23rd, 2015
Episode 453 of 533 episodes
Fanny Burney, who was also known as Madame D'Arblay and Frances Burney, was one of the leading novelists, playwrights and diarists of the 18th-century. Her first novel, Evelina, was published anonymously and caused a sensation, attracting the admiration of many eminent contemporaries. In an era when very few women published their work she achieved extraordinary success, and her admirers included Dr Johnson and Edmund Burke. Later Virginia Woolf called her 'the mother of English fiction'. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Nicole Pohl, Reader in English Literature at Oxford Brookes University; Judith Hawley, Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London and John Mullan, Professor of English at University College London.