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Belinda

Belinda by Maria Edgeworth
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When Belinda was published in 1801, it became both controversial and popular. Controversial because of the inter-racial marriage presented in the novel, and popular because it's a very good comedy of manners, like Evelina by Fanny Burney. Belinda, like Evelina, is a soft and loving girl of 17, is coming to London with her aunt who directs her action in order to make sure that she'll find a good match. But what will happen if Belinda will fall in love? Will Clarence Hervey, the man she loves, be able to marry her? It seems almost impossible, as he is secretly bringing up another woman to be a perfect wife to him and now, in all honor, he thinks he must marry her. These social novels about young women trying to find good husbands were admired by Jane Austen who referred to Belinda, among other novels, in her own novel Northanger Abbey: “'And what are you reading, Miss — ?' 'Oh! It is only a novel!' replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. 'It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda'; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best–chosen language."

First Page:

TALES AND NOVELS, VOL. III

BELINDA.

BY

MARIA EDGEWORTH.

IN TEN VOLUMES. WITH ENGRAVINGS ON STEEL.

1857.

CONTENTS.

I. Characters

II. Masks

III. Lady Delacour's History

IV. The same continued

V. Birthday Dresses

VI. Ways and Means

VII. The Serpentine River

VIII. A Family Party

IX. Advice

X. The Mysterious Boudoir

XI. Difficulties

XII. The Macaw

XIII. Sortes Virgilianae

XIV. The Exhibition

XV. Jealousy

XVI. Domestic Happiness

XVII. Rights of Woman

XVIII. A Declaration

XIX. A Wedding

XX. Reconciliation

XXI. Helena

XXII. A Spectre

XXIII. The Chaplain

XXIV. Peu à peu

XXV. Love me, love my dog

XXVI. Virginia

XXVII. A Discovery

XXVIII. E O

XXIX. A Jew

XXX. News

XXXI. The Dènouement

BELINDA

CHAPTER I.

CHARACTERS.

Mrs. Stanhope, a well bred woman, accomplished in that branch of knowledge which is called the art of rising in the world, had, with but a small fortune, contrived to live in the highest company. She prided herself upon having established half a dozen nieces most happily, that is to say, upon having married them to men of fortunes far superior to their own... Continue reading book >>


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