Main content

Fanny Burney

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life and work of the 18th-century writer Fanny Burney, also known as Frances D'Arblay and Frances Burney, best known for her novel Evelina.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life and work of the 18th-century novelist, playwright and diarist Fanny Burney, also known as Madame D'Arblay and Frances Burney. 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'.


Nicole Pohl
Reader in English Literature at Oxford Brookes University

Judith Hawley
Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London


John Mullan
Professor of English at University College London.

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes


Judith Hawley at Royal Holloway, University of London

John Mullan at University College London

Nicole Pohl at Oxford Brookes University

Frances Burney - Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The Burney Society

‘Dr Burney’s Evening Party’ in The Common Reader, Second Series by Virginia Woolf

Frances Burney - Wikipedia



Frances Burney (eds. Peter Sabor and Lars Troide), Journals and Letters (Penguin, 2001)

Frances Burney (eds. E. and L. Bloom), Evelina (Oxford World’s Classics, 2002)

Frances Burney (eds. E. and L. Bloom), Camilla (Oxford World’s Classics, 2009)

Frances Burney (ed. Margaret Doody), The Wanderer (Oxford World’s Classics, 1999)

Frances Burney (eds. Peter Sabor and Geoffrey Sill), The Witlings & The Woman Hater (Broadview Editions, 2002)

Kate Chisholm, Fanny Burney: Her Life (Chatto & Windus, 1998)

Norma Clarke, Dr Johnson’s Women (Bloomsbury, 2001)

Hester Davenport, Faithful Handmaid: Fanny Burney at the Court of King George III (Sutton Publishing, 2000)

Margaret Anne Doody, Frances Burney: The Life in the Works (Cambridge University Press, 1989)

Claire Harman, Fanny Burney: A Biography (HarperCollins, 2000)

Joyce Hemlow, The History of Fanny Burney (Oxford University Press, 1958)

Hazel Mews, Frail Vessels: Woman’s Role in Women’s Novels from Fanny Burney to George Eliot (first published 1969; Bloomsbury Press, 2014)

Peter Sabor (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Frances Burney (Cambridge University Press, 2007)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Nicole Pohl
Interviewed Guest Judith Hawley
Interviewed Guest John Mullan
Producer Simon Tillotson


Featured in...

The In Our Time Quiz of the Year

How much do you remember from our programmes of 2018?

The In Our Time Listeners' Top 10

If you’re new to In Our Time, this is a good place to start.

In Our Time podcasts

Every episode of In Our Time is available to download.

Arts and Ideas podcast

Download the best of Radio 3's Free Thinking programme.