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An investigation into the character of Fanny Burney

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sparkling humour of the preceding novels, but humour there is in abundance, though of a quicter kind. To this humour we owe such delightful characters as Sir Hugh Tyrold and his Yorkshire friend Mr. Westwyn, those two kind-hearted, childishly naïve old gentlemen, each speaking in a dialect of his own.

Camitla does not bring us anything new. Many of the characters remind us of those in Miss Burney's previous novels. She again makes lower class people mix with the upper classes and delights in describing the vulgar characters of a Mr. Dubster and a Mrs. Mittin. There is a great deal of moralizing in this novel, not, as in her previous works, by means of the heroine or one of the principal characters, but by the author herself. She again attacks the dissipation of the rich and points out the danger for young people who want to take part in it, but have not the means to do so.

There is, however, one element in Camilla which, though it is not at all new in Fanny Burney's works, deserves some attention here, as in none of her other novels it is so striking and that is sensibility. Fanny mentions it herself in describing the character of Camilla:

"the ardour of her imagination, acted upon by every passing idea, shook her Judgment from its yet unsteady seat, and left her at the mercy of wayward Sensibility — that delicate, but irregular power, which now impels to all that is most disinterested for others, now forgets all mankind, to watch the pulsations of its own fancies."1

That the lengthy novel nowadays is no longer read cannot cause surprise, but it seems a pity that even by the critics so little notice has been taken of Camilla, as, for our knowledge of Fanny Burney's character, Camilla is of great importance. "The fact is," says Mr. Brimley Johnson, "that in this work Miss Burney has given full rein to her ideal of women, her conception of home life, and her notions about

1 Camilla, book VIII, ch. XI.