#LivefromLucy: 'The Room and the World. Frances Burney's Paper Houses'

  • Francesca Saggini (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar


This talk mapped Frances Burney’s life and works from the vantage viewpoint of material studies, considering some of the houses the author lived, sojourned and worked in. The tension between the contending discourses of ‘public’ house and ‘private’ house / home – the house as a space for entertainment and a cultural hub used to promote visibility and augment cultural capital opposed to the ‘private’ house as the locus of intimacy and family life - is exemplified by the juxtaposition between the houses Frances Burney lived in as her father’s daughter – in particular the famous house in St Martin’s Street where Charles Burney held fashionable musical soirées – and the idyllic Surrey cottage Burney was able to build with the profits from the her third novel Camilla (1796), quite significantly named ‘Camilla Cottage’, where she moved in with her husband, Alexandre d’Arblay, in 1797. This talk will also consider the symbolic, often mythopoetic value, associated with Burney’s houses as artificial, cultural mythoi, in a deeply-freighted paradigmatic shift from early authorial propriety to later authorial property.
Period27 Oct 2021
Event typeOther
LocationCambridge, United KingdomShow on map