We are two part-time academics. Ellen teaches in the English department and Jim in the IT program at George Mason University.

Jack Aubrey on Fanny Burney's _Evelina_ · 23 May 05


Upon my posting to Austen-l that I am still a Burney enthusiast, a friend and member emailed me the following passage from Patrick O’Brian’s Fortunes of War, Chapter 2

‘I never was a great reader,’ said Jack. His friends looked down at their wine and smiled. ‘I mean I could never get along with your novels and tales. Admiral Burney—Captain Burney then—lent me one wrote by his sister when we were coming back with a slow convoy from the West Indies; but I could not get through with it—sad stuff, I thought. Though I dare say the fault was with me, just as some people cannot relish music; for Burney thought the world of it, and he was as fine a seaman as any in the service. He sailed with Cook, and you cannot say fairer than that.’

‘That is the best qualification for a literary critic I ever heard of,’ said Yorke. ‘What was the name of the book?’

‘There you have me,’ said Jack. ‘But it was a small book, in three volumes, I think; and it was all about love. Every novel I have ever looked into is all about love; and I have looked into a good many, because Sophie loves them, and I read aloud to her while she knits, in the evening. All about love.’


Posted by: Ellen

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