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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1778, Evelina is Frances Burney's first and most beloved novel. It was a landmark in the development of the novel of manners and went on to influence such enduringly popular authors as Jane Austen.

By turns hilarious and grim, witty and lyrical, the story follows young Evelina as she leaves the seclusion of her country home and enters into late eighteenth-century London society - both its pleasures and its dangers. Life in eighteenth-century England is vividly rendered as Evelina is educated in the ways of the world and, eventually, love. As she battles such cruelties as social snobbery and delights in such thrills as pleasure gardens and balls, Evelina strives toward her final triumph, while capturing the hearts of listeners everywhere along the way.

Public Domain (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Profile Image for J. Wachter
  • J. Wachter
  • 08-05-2015

Great classic

One of the first and best novels in the English language. The main reader is also one of the best I've ever listened to.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Cubby
  • 05-02-2018

Very enjoyable, well written, well performed!

I am a fan of Jane Austen, as well as other classics, including recency era fiction. This will naturally lead you to Fanny Burney- you won't be disappointed. Jane Austen wasn't! :)

7 people found this helpful

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  • MidwestLady
  • 30-06-2017

Was very surprised it was this good!

This novel proves that a good story stands for a very long time. I was so surprised at how very good it was. Once one got used to the older style of language, and that took very little time, the story was fast paced, fresh, engaging, and a genuine pleasure. There is a reason this book has stuck around for so long, and that reason is, it's a good book. Give it a try.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah Jewel Randolph
  • 27-01-2021

Delightful

This is my favorite Francey Burney novel and this audiobook version was wonderful. Emily Rankin did an incredible job with all the different voices. I listened to another version after this one and this version was by far superior. If you enjoy Jane Austen, Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth... you will thoroughly enjoy this book. Very cleverly written and well-performed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Andrea
  • 02-11-2021

I could not help myself

I don’t generally prefer books written in the form of letters. Therefore I was disappointed that this book was in that form.

BUT-the story, the writing and the performance were all so good, that I listened anyway. I am extremely glad that I did.

Perfect social commentary with a good love story thrown into the mix. Reminds me some of Jane Austen.

Definitely worth the listen!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Susan
  • 27-05-2019

Wrong choice of narrator

A British narrator would have more appropriately communicated a sense of the history and location. I found the voices of some of the characters grating in the extreme and finally had to stop listening and finish reading the book from the public library. I will be returning this book, it was that irritating.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Rsrchr
  • 27-01-2016

Get the version read by Finty Williams, Judi Dench

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

... and Geoffrey Palmer (original publisher silksoundbooks, but now on audible). Unlike this crew (so surprised this was so bad!), they "get" the book. This version I would NOT even recommend if it were free! But if you have the money, the Williams/Dench/Palmer version is well worth it!

What did you like best about this story?

The interplay among the characters

How could the performance have been better?

Cast voice actors who are suited to the material

What character would you cut from Evelina?

None!

4 people found this helpful

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  • J. Carmen
  • 16-10-2021

Jane Austen’s favorite

I understand why this novel was among Jane Austen’s favorites. The story is wonderful and masterfully woven. It is a masterpiece among period novels. The narrators are excellent.

1 person found this helpful

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  • A Anderson
  • 04-06-2021

Immersive reading

The readers were amazing, and I was so impressed with the amount of expression and accuracy to the characters. Truly excellent

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kim
  • 03-07-2022

An Absolute Treasure

Every Jane Austen fan must listen to this spectacular novel. You will not be disappointed.

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  • Hannah Kilpatrick
  • 12-10-2015

Unlistenable due to accent.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

Anybody with the ability to do a variety of English accents.

Any additional comments?

This was unlistenable. I love this book to bits and was delighted to find a copy on Audible, but it is impossible to listen to a story so embedded in the complex culture of late eighteenth-century English politeness read with an American accent. Perhaps if you live in America the American accent sounds like your 'everyman' voice, but that is not so to the rest of the world.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Mary
  • 08-07-2015

Spoiled by heavy handed narration

How could the performance have been better?

This book was written at the end of the 18th Century as a satire on the society of the day. Ideally it should be read in a light hearted tone of voice that allows the irony and humour to float to the surface, naturally. That's quite a difficult challenge given the rather stiff or unfamiliar prose of parts of the book and sadly in my view these narrators do not rise to this challenge. Instead they obviously feel the need to add dramatic colour to point up or underline the humour.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Hope so, so I'll try a different version.

6 people found this helpful

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  • thyme2
  • 04-12-2015

Entertaining story, dreadful accents

If you could sum up Evelina in three words, what would they be?

engaging historical fiction

What did you like best about this story?

I've been put off reading this by the length of the novel, but the audio version makes it possible to listen as I drive etc. Despite this, I put off listening to this for a while after purchasing it as I was daunted by the length and had a slight nagging feeling that it would be a bit tedious. I was wrong! I have really enjoyed listening to Evelina. The morals of the heroine are familiar from Jane Austen's works and are articulately expressed in her letters to her mentor and friend. The characters are all well-described and you get a real understanding of many of them. I occasionally wanted to yell at Madame Duval to put a sock in it when her tales of woe were repeated too often.

What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

The American accents do not fit well with a pre-Regency English novel. I found myself chuckling at Mr Macartney's 'Scottish' voice, rather than empathising with his bizarre and sad story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony Saville
  • 18-02-2015

Strong and engaging female lead

The epistolary form is archaic, and Burney can be a little repetitive for modern taste. So I was glad to listen to it, when I would never have actually read it in print. Slow, and at times a bit listless, this is at other times a wonderfully evocative glimpse into a distant world. In the midst of which is a strong and engaging young woman, making her way in a generally unsympathetic world. It fits surprisingly well the chick-lit genre - young woman good, all men bad or silly. Moments of great charm.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-07-2022

Persevere

The first reader is quite annoying and her over emphasis is not easy listening but persevere! Most of the book is read beautifully, the American voices, which might appear out of place to some, meld into the background as the glorious story proper unfolds

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  • kate london
  • 20-01-2022

A massacre of the English language

Despite reading the previous review in relation to accents, I thought I would give this a try as I too really like this book. However, I had to give up after possibly the shortest listening time ever for an audible book. I cannot imagine who thought an American accent could pull off the reading of such English prose! Sadly, I have had to give up, whilst I’m sure the narrator is very good in the right setting, it is not this one.

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  • TM
  • 01-09-2021

Shame about the accents

The story is enjoyable, though of it’s time. Audible version is a very helpful way to engage with an epistolary novel & probably many readers of the time would have heard it read aloud amongst their family. Unfortunately it’s let down by the American accents, though they do make an attempt at a more transatlantic accent and some characters came across better than others, but in particular the accent for the poor Scottish character was almost any accent in the world other than Scottish. I listened to this version as it is included but I wouldn’t chose to pay for it over another version which might be better read.

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