Cecilia, Volume 1: Memoirs of an Heiress
133 Installments—Entirely free
Members' Rating: from 1 Rating
Although the heroine of this 1782 novel, Cecilia Beverley, is without family, she is not without fortune. Some tricky strings are attached, however, to the inheritance that Cecilia is slated to receive on her twenty-first birthday. As the young woman finds, she may only keep the money willed to her if she can find a husband who will make the unusual move of adopting her surname. In addition to this challenge, Cecilia must contend with the three men appointed to be her guardians until she reaches adulthood. Mr. Harrel is a wasteful dandy, Mr. Briggs is a miserable penny-pincher, and Mr. Delvile is a snooty aristocrat. While a handful of gold-digging young men pursue her, Cecilia stays with Mr. Harrel’s family, watching him squander his own money and ruin his family. When Harrel’s disastrous choices lead to a devastating tragedy, Cecilia flees to the Delvile home. There, she begins to fall in love with Mr. Delvile’s son, Mortimer. What could be more fitting than to marry this kind young man? The course of true love never does run quite so smoothly, however. Mortimer’s father is none too pleased with the idea of his son taking Cecilia’s last name, and that’s not the last of her worries. As she soon finds out, Cecilia will have to face down further trouble from those who covet her fortune and seek to use her for their own gains. Follow this brave and spirited young lady on her remarkable quest for a happy ending.
Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
The manuscript of Cecilia was submitted to Dr Burney and Mr Crisp during its composition, and their suggestions were in some cases adopted, as we learn from the Diary. Dr Johnson was not consulted, but a desire at once to imitate and to please him evidently controlled the work.
Under these ...
Ratings for 'Cecilia, Volume 1' by Burney, Frances