Item #05673 Evelina: or Female Life in London. Fanny BURNEY, William HEATH.
Evelina: or Female Life in London
Evelina: or Female Life in London
Evelina: or Female Life in London
Evelina: or Female Life in London
Evelina: or Female Life in London
Evelina: or Female Life in London
Evelina: or Female Life in London
Evelina: or Female Life in London
Evelina: or Female Life in London
Evelina: or Female Life in London
Evelina: or Female Life in London
Evelina: or Female Life in London

Evelina: or Female Life in London

London: Edward Mason, 1821. Item #05673

Adventures Of A Young Woman In A Big City

[BURNEY, Frances]. [HEATH, William, illustrator]. Evelina: or the History of a Young Lady's Introduction to the World. By Miss Burney. A New Edition Embellished with Engravings. London: Published by Edward Mason, 1821.

First illustrated edition, first issue. Octavo (9 x 5 5/8 inches; 229 x 125 mm.). [1]-522 [i.e. 530] pp. (The pagination on gathering 'G' pp. 41-48 is repeated adding an additional 8 pp. to the 522 pp.). Hand colored aquatint title/frontispiece and six hand colored aquatint plates after William Heath, all but one aquatint engravings - the illustration facing page 25 is a hand colored etched plate.

Publisher's drab maroon cloth, original red paper printed label on spine (most of the lettering worn away), inner hinges strengthened, fore and lower edges uncut. Small booksellers label "A. Playter. Dealer in English Books. Amsterdam" on front paste-down. Some minor offsetting from plates to text. Some light to moderate foxing, gathering '3A' pp. 361-368 browned. Still a wonderful 'uncut' copy in the publisher's cloth binding, housed in a fleece-lined red cloth clamshell case.

This edition of Frances Burney's 1778 epistolary novel "Evelina" is notable for being the first to include illustrations by William Heath, contributing visual elements to Burney's classic novel. The hand-colored plates add a decorative and artistic dimension to the narrative. The uncut state of the book, along with its original binding, enhances its collectible value.

The book was was reissued the following year by Jones and Co. under the title Evelina: or Female Life in London, being the History of a Young Lady's Introduction to Fashionable Life, and the Gay Scenes of the Metropolis; Displaying a Highly Humorous, Satirical, and Entertaining Description of Fashionable Characters, Manners, and Amusements, in the Higher Circles of Metropolitan Society. Embellished and Illustrated with a Series of Humorous Colored Engravings, by the First Artists.

The title character Evelina is the unacknowledged but legitimate daughter of a dissipated English aristocrat, and thus raised in rural seclusion until her 17th 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 18th-century society and come under the eye of a distinguished nobleman with whom a romantic relationship is formed in the latter part of the novel. 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.

Scarce: OCLC?KVK locate just four copies in libraries and institutions worldwide: The Huntington Library (CA, US); McGill University (CA, QC, US); The British Library (London, UK); Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Netherlands);

The plates:

Title/frontispiece Evelina or the History of a Young Lady's Introduction to the World.
1. Evelina, Mrs Mirvan and Maria, Shopping.
2. The Captain attacking Madame Duval.
3. Evelina, Visit to the Opera with the Branghtons. (W. Heath delt.)
4. The Captain hunting Madame Duval in the Ditch.
5. Madame Duval Dancing a Minuet, at the Hampstead Assembly. (W. Heath delt.)
6. Evelina, Mr Lovel and the Monkey. (W. Heath delt.)

Bobins 1323; Tooley 118.

Price: $1,850.00