Camilla: Or, A Picture of Youth. London, 1796
Camilla, subtitled A Picture of Youth, is the fourth novel of Frances Burney, and was first published in 1796. Camilla is concerned with issues of friendship, courting, marriage and sisterhood. Camilla Tyrold and her sisters, the sweet by nature Lavinia and the physically challenged but kind-hearted Eugenia, and their cousin, the beautiful Indiana Lynmere. We are involved in the love affair between Camilla and the eligible Edgar Mandlebert. Fanny Burney takes us through the many mistakes and challenges that beset the path of true love .
The advancing spirit of Romanticism is very much a feature of this incredibly popular eighteenth-century novel. As in her earlier novel Evelina, Burney captures both light and shade in Camilla. Her talents as a comedic writer and her penchant for a little gothic are never far away. She creates social, emotional, and personality driven dilemmas that highlight the gap between the younger and older generations. It’s a ripping read, a must read on your Burney book list and and 18thC masterpiece.