London: Geo. Newnes Ltd., 1898. Item #04410
Fanny Burney's Evelina With Sixteen Full-Page Illustrations by Arthur Rackham
A Unique Copy Signed by Rackham on the Half-Title
RACKHAM, Arthur, illustrator. BURNEY, Frances. Evelina or The History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World. London:Geo. Newnes Ltd., 1898.
First Rackham illustrated edition, later issue. Signed in black ink by Arthur Rackham on lower corner of half-title.
Octavo (7 1/2 x 5 inches; 190 x 128 mm.). xv, [i, blank], 416, , [1, The New Library - advertisement], [1, blank], pp. Thirty-two page George Newnes Limited catalog at end, the first page dated "11-99" (November 1899). Sixteen full-page black & white line-drawings by Rackham included in the pagination.
Publisher's gray-blue cloth front cover pictorially stamped and lettered in brown, spine decorated in brown and lettered in gilt, original black coated end-papers, top edge gilt. Minor rubbing to spine ends and corners, inner front hinge very slightly cracked but still sound. An excellent copy - the first that we have seen with Arthur Rackham's signature.
According to the bibliographers Sarah Briggs Latimore, Grace Clark Haskell and Richard Riall, the first issue should only have one page of advertisements at the back of the book. It is apparent that the publisher had many unsold copies and that the thirty-two page catalog was simply inserted at the end of the book in 1899.
Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World is a novel written by English author Fanny Burney and first published in 1778. In this epistolary novel, the title character Evelina is the unacknowledged but legitimate daughter of a dissipated English aristocrat, thus raised in rural seclusion until her seventeenth year. Through a series of humorous events that take place in London and the resort town of Hotwells, near Bristol, Evelina learns to navigate the complex layers of eighteenth century society and earn the love of a distinguished nobleman. This sentimental novel, which has notions of sensibility and early romanticism, satirizes the society in which it is set and is a significant precursor to the work of Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth, whose novels explore many of the same issues.
Frances Burney (1752-1840), also known as Fanny Burney and after her marriage as Madame d'Arblay, was an English satirical novelist, diarist and playwright. She was born in Lynn Regis, now King's Lynn, England, on 13 June 1752, to the musician and music historian Dr Charles Burney (1726-1814) and his first wife, Esther Sleepe Burney (1725-1762). The third of her mother's six children, she was self-educated and began writing what she called her "scribblings" at the age of ten. In 1793, aged 41, she married a French exile, General Alexandre D'Arblay. Their only son, Alexander, was born in 1794. After a lengthy writing career, and travels during which she was stranded in France by warfare for more than ten years, she settled in Bath, England, where she died on 6 January 1840.
Riall, p.25; Latimore & Haskell, pp. 10/11.