Cecilia by Frances Burney

As summer moves along, I find my days to be quiet and uneventful or busy and hectic.

I also notice that while I’m in the midst of one, I’m longing for the other.41ym0nvL8oL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

I suppose I’m just trying to find (like all of us) that perfect balance between solitude and social activity. It’s not easy.

Over the last month, I’ve been working on a project that requires a bit of research. One of the books I’ve chosen to draw from is Cecilia by Frances Burney.

It’s not a quick read by any means.

The title of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was in all likelihood taken from the final chapter of Cecilia in which it reads: 

The whole of this unfortunate business,” said Dr. Lyster, “has been the result of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE… 

…Yet this, however, remember; if to PRIDE and PREJUDICE you owe your miseries, so wonderfully is good and evil balanced, that to PRIDE and PREJUDICE you will also owe their termination…

So while reading this rather long book — and while longing for that perfect balance between solitude and social activity — I was pleasantly surprised to find Cecilia herself sharing in my dilemma.

Of course, her social activity is somewhat different than my own…but I can relate.

And relating is good!

Let’s face it…it’s hard to be an introvert.

And thus, in acts of goodness and charity, passed undisturbed another week of the life of Cecilia:  but when the fervor of self-approbation lost its novelty, the pleasure with which her new plan was begun first subsided into tranquility, and then sunk into languor. To a heart formed for friendship and affection the charms of solitude are very short lived:  and though she had sickened of the turbulence of perpetual company, she now wearied of passing all her time by herself, and sighed for the comfort of society, and the relief of communication. But she saw with astonishment the difficulty with which this was to be obtained:  the endless succession of diversions, the continual rotation of assemblies, the numerousness of splendid engagements, of which while everyone complained, every one was proud to boast, so effectually impeded private meetings and friendly intercourse, that, which ever way she turned herself, all commerce seemed impracticable, but such as either led to dissipation, or accidentally flowed from it.  

I’m only half way through the book, but I’m always happy to find a character that is not only believable but relatable.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!



9 thoughts on “Cecilia by Frances Burney

    • Thanks for reading, Bookheathen. My only advice is to be patient while reading. The stories unfold ever…so …slowly….and it takes many hours to finally get to the end. I’m sure that aspect was appreciated in those times — as readers had fewer sources of entertainment (TV, movies, radio, etc). Well worth it though, in my opinion.
      Happy reading!


  1. Pingback: Favorite posts from favorite blogs | Happily Writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s