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Image: Title Page of Celestina by Charlotte Smith, 1791. Toppan Rare Books Library, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.
While books in this exhibit take quite a leap from the late-seventeenth-century to the late-eighteenth-century, books by women were being published in the middles of the 1800s as well. Eliza Haywood, author of Love in Excess (1719-1720) and Fantomina (1724), for example, who was "one of the prolific and popular novelists of the century," serve as bridge works between Aphra Behn and later authors featured in this exhibit such as Charlotte Smith (1749-1806) and Frances Burney (1752-1840), (Spencer 213). Smith, who also wrote the novels Emmeline (1788) and Etheline (1789), published Celestina in 1791. It is a novel about a young orphan who must find her place in society, known as a "courtship novel" (Fletcher, 9, 46-47). Volume 1 of 4, pictured above, is available to view at the American Heritage Center.
Image: Title page of Camilla by Frances Burney, 1796. Toppan Rare Books Library, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.
Frances Burney similarly published books titled by the name of her main female characters, like Smith. As you can see in the picture above, Burney is identified as the author of Evelina (1778) and Cecilia (1782). Camilla (1796), however, has its own claim to fame, as Jane Austen's name is both referenced in Camilla's subscription list, and Austen references Camilla specifically in her own book Northanger Abbey (Jones 111). While we are able to see the influences works like Behn's had on epistolary novels, including Burney with Evelina, Edward and Lillian Bloom note that Burney embraced more Gothic elements, as influenced by Ann Radcliffe, within this novel. This allows us to see how contemporary women authors were influencing one another at this time (Bloom, xvi). All five volumes of Camilla are available to view at the American Heritage Center.
Celestina by Charlotte Smith is available at the University of Wyoming's Coe Library in both print and electronic formats. Camilla by Frances Burney is available at Coe Library in both print and electronic formats. Coe Library also has The Cambridge Companion to Frances Burney edited by Peter Sabor available.