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The Wanderer

The Wanderer by Frances Burney
By: (1752-1840)

This is the fourth and final novel by Fanny Burney, the author of Evelina, Cecilia, and Camilla. "Who is "Miss Ellis?" Why did she board a ship from France to England at the beginning of the French revolution? Anyway, the loss of her purse made this strange "wanderer" dependent upon the charity of some good people and, of course, bad ones. But she always comforts herself by reminding herself that it's better than "what might have been..." This is not only a mystery, not at all. It's also a romance which reminds readers of novels by Jane Austen. Published in 1814, the same year as Mansfield Park, it shares some themes with it. It is also very modern, speaking freely of independent women (like Elinor), weak male characters, and unrequited love. Yes, a love triangle is lurking behind the scenes, and, in this case, it is not clear if the happy ending is suitable. At the time when it was published, critics did not like this political novel, and said that the difficulties which "Ellis" faced while trying to support herself were clearly fictional. However, don't let this deter you. It's a wonderful and mature novel, ahead of it's time by about 100 years. Happy reading!

First Page:



Female Difficulties



Dedication xvii

Volume I 1

Volume II 179

Volume III 361

Volume IV 537

Volume V 681

TO DOCTOR BURNEY, FRS and correspondent to the institute of France [1]

[Footnote 1: To which honour Dr Burney was elected, by the wholly unsolicited votes of the members des beaux arts . His daughter brought over his diploma from Paris.]

The earliest pride of my heart was to inscribe to my much loved Father the first public effort of my pen; though the timid offering, unobtrusive and anonymous, was long unpresented; and, even at last, reached its destination through a zeal as secret as it was kind, by means which he would never reveal; and with which, till within these last few months, I have myself been unacquainted... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 2 Stars - 2 reviews)

Reviewer: - August 21, 2014
Subject: Wanderer
Dreary book!
Reviewer: - October 30, 2013
Subject: Incredibly verbose
I can't remember who said something like, "the problem is with the beginning and the end. They're too far apart. And so I found Ms Burney's creation. I think she used up all the commas, semicolons and clauses of one form or another in circulation at the time. The problem was that I was captivated by the mystery and very much wanted to find the solution to the mystery/love story. So I hung in with it to the bittersweet end.

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