Volume V of The Early Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney covers a period of significant gains and losses for the young writer. Professionally, Burney consolidated her reputation as England's premier novelist with the publication of Cecilia. Through a mutual friendship she gained an appointment as Keeper of the Robes to Queen Charlotte, a position that provided both financial security and an insider's view to life at Court. Burney's professional success during these years was balanced by countless personal setbacks. Deprived of the companionship of her favourite sister following her sister's marriage, she also lost the friendship of Hester Lynch Thrale who grew increasingly distant during her romantic attachment to Gabriel Piozzi (whom she married in 1784). The death of her dear friend and mentor Samuel Crisp causes Burney deep sadness, and her emotional turmoil is further exacerbated by her introduction to George Owen Cambridge, a young clergyman to whom she is clearly attracted but who refuses to either declare himself to her, or leave her in peace. Throughout these trials and triumphs, Burney - an artist with an acute sense of the complexities and vagaries of human nature - never ceases to fix her lens on the fashions and follies of English society as they emerge in the manners of her time.
Lars E. Troide is a retired professor of English, McGill University, and general editor of The Early Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney. Stewart J. Cooke teaches English at Dawson College and is the co-editor of the third volume of The Early Journals an