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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,352 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
First published in 1796, Camilla deals with the matrimonial concerns of a group of young people—Camilla Tyrold and her sisters, the daughters of a country parson, and their cousin Indiana Lynmere—and, in particular, with the love affair between Camilla herself and her eligible suitor, Edgar Mandlebert. The path of true love, however, is strewn with intrigue, contretemps an ...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 956 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press (first published 1796)
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Linda Hendrex Yes, it is "clean", meaning there is no graphic sex or violence. However there are some adult themes dealing with the attitudes toward women and sex…moreYes, it is "clean", meaning there is no graphic sex or violence. However there are some adult themes dealing with the attitudes toward women and sex in the late 18th century. Real iffy stuff, but nothing gratuitous. Hope this helps.(less)

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Review upon reconsideration:

As an Austen fan and having read Northanger Abbey where Fanny Burney's Camilla is mentioned, I thought I'll give the book a try. Although it proved quite enjoyable for a time, after 500 pages and at least "500" repeating misunderstandings later, where the MCs, Camilla & Edgar, almost seem to make it just to end up further and further apart, I got really bored. The story would be much better if it were 400 pages shorter.

Burney might have inspired Jane Austen, but A
May 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not enjoying this book as much as I enjoyed The Female Quixote, which was really, really funny, but I'm trying to keep an open mind.

Burney, was an 18th century novelist who influenced Jane Austen, and if you read this book, you can see how. However, you can also see, if you read, that Austen was clearly the superior writer. Over 900 pages, the author seems to drag out the plot more than is necessary, but once you get past the melodrama of parts of the book, it is interesting enough that yo
Ginger Price
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy mama, I think that I deserve a cookie after reading this bad boy. I don't know why this novel felt so long to me, because I really enjoyed it for the most part, but it is nearly 1,000 pages, so you can only have so many excursions and letters before they all start to feel the same (in a way, this novel was kind of like Don Quixote; it all felt very much, after page 450 or so, that we've been here before). I was debating whether or not to take a break and read something else for a few days w ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Camilla is a romance par extraordinaire with a great deal of insight into the lives and times of the upper class women in the late 18th century and some nearly perilous excitement at times, but a romance nevertheless, so 3 stars from me as I'm not a huge romance fan. Camilla loves Edgar, but as far as she knows he's going to marry her cousin. While this is the long term romance (on again off again, he loves me he love me not, she loves me she loves me not) of the novel with a lot of misunderstan ...more
Emilia Barnes
3.5 stars

Unlike Evelina, Camilla is not a comedy of errors, or a comedy of manners. It is over long (my edition has 913 pages) and it's point isn't immediately apparent. I enjoyed the beginning, which was, though slow, full of fun character moments, and it's set in one of my favourite periods, and was therefore pleasant to read.

However, the middle was very soap operatic, and it isn't until the very end when the full point of what Burney was doing here became apparent. So if the middle section w
Jan 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hard-core fans of austen, burney, edgeworth, gaskell, lennox, etc.
I loved (really loved) the writing in Camilla. Yes, even the sentences that stretched, it seemed, for paracraphs. Like other similar literature, I loved many of the themes of honor (or "honour" ;-) and duty and family. I liked Camilla and LOVED Eugenia. I also despised Lionel and Indiana and the horrid governess, as I was meant to. The secondary characters were marvelous. But I tired of the same misunderstandings over and over again. It also struck me that Camilla's supposed key character flaw, ...more
Kate S
Dec 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd really like to give it three and a half...I'm torn. Lots of great Dickens-esque characters and the provision of a real understanding of the perils of women during the time period push it to four. The social commentary is important and something so alien to us now that it's definitely worth reading if only for that. But it needs a good edit in the middle - I would have gotten the point with a little less fainting and tearfulness on Camilla's part - and fewer long tangents. Was Burney paid by ...more
Suzanne Moore
Probably the longest book I've ever read, other than the Bible. It took me over a year of stops and starts to get through it! I'd have to say it was fun reading parts aloud … full of fancy wording of the Victorian era. Reminded me of a soap opera. Camilla,her sister Eugenia, and cousin Indiana were followed from childhood into their young adult years. There is a beau involved, Mandlebert, He is attracted to Camilla and she to him, but the modesty of the day keeps the relationship moving along ra ...more
Staffan Lindstrom
It has been hard work, but at last I have finished Camilla. This story of Camilla and Edgar who love each other but take 900 pages of unnecessary misunderstandings to reach the happy end proceeds with no regard for psychological probability, and the endless silliness of the impossibly noble characters tax the patience of the reader almost beyond endurance. They converse in high-flown tirades and at the smallest provocation burst into floods of tears and clasp each other to their bosoms. These ab ...more
I'm a sucker for classical English authors, always tempted to rate them with non-existing 6* just for this reason. Burney's colofurness and vivacity in painting of the society's traits would deserve it as well. In real life, a book needs to whack me off my "verbal feet" to give it even a 5*-rating. "Camilla" did not do that, but: (1) it kept me sealed to an armchair for three days, (2) it fed my lust for the stylish writing, (3) made me think about what I've read later on, (4) made me in love wi ...more
Dec 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion, Burney's least successful novel, but this is still a great read. The secondary characters in this steal the show, especially Eugenia, who might just get the prize for the most sympathetic female character in 18th century fiction. Camilla would come a close second, though, given what she has to put up with from the various men in this novel. This is a very interesting study of the way men were able to control women so completely. Very psychologically interesting, but the male chara ...more
Meredith Miller
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Giving it four because this isn't my favourite Burney. That would be either Cecilia or The Wanderer. This is my second or third read of this and I had forgotten or not noticed before how clear the description of attempted rape (Book VIII, Chapter II). Bold too, because the perpetrators are 'gentlemen', so she overturns the whole myth of chivalry here. It really gives the reader a sense of how little power women had and how much physical danger even genteel women were constantly in. Imagine Camil ...more
Hannah Polley
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to Frances Burney at Uni when we had to read Evelina. I loved Evelina and the tutor said if anyone had liked Evelina, they should read Camilla which is similar but over 900 pages. I immediately went out and bought Camilla and I adore this book. The story is a slow burner, although there is plenty of drama, but the thing I love about this book is the variety of characters so I have given my thoughts on them below:

Sir Hugh Tyrold - I love the Uncle of this story. Yes, he is childl
Jan 21, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tedious
I didn't finish this book, but I'm tired of it. I got to page 665 before I just couldn't take anymore.

Even though I haven't finished, I'm still counting it as read. 665 pages is a fucking lot of pages.

Some thoughts:

These characters are all quite one dimensional. You could almost split them into Spice Girl categories: the smart one, the meek one, the bitchy one, the conniving one, the rascal, the paragon of masculinity, etc. You just KNEW how a situation would go whenever a certain character was
I enjoyed this even though it was painful to read. At times I was so frustrated with the idiocy of the characters that I was shouting at my computer and slamming my hands on the table. Yet the world of the 18th C. is so seductive, the intelligence and humour of the author didn't fail to come through despite the ridiculousness of some of the plot lines and the intensity of its over-riding moral strictures.

Interestingly, what became clear to me when reading this book was the inevitability of femi
Vincent Rivas-Flores
It's a great read, but for the length that it is, I just didn't find it captivating enough to warrant so much of the story. Burney's previous novel, Cecilia, was miles greater and completely worth the four-digit page length. The problem with Camilla was that it re-tread much of the same material as Cecilia, but with less on the characters as people. It dealt primarily with the bad luck that falls on a loving, caring, close-knit family in Hampshire, which is less captivating that the emancipated ...more
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this to some degree just because I'm a friend to 19th century literature in general. There were high points and low points in the story. I liked secondary characters better than the main characters, and was unhappy with the length of time it took to resolve things that should have been very simple. Lack of communication between the main characters became frustrating.
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You will laugh,cry,get frustrated and love the outcome. Worth every bit of time it takes to read.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
A delightfully long tear-jerker novel. Nothing is mundane, everything is extraordinary.
Valerie Kyriosity
ENASUTH could be recycled for this book (Google it if you're unfamiliar) with the E now standing for Edgar. Edgar loves Camilla and is on the verge of professing it (which would have solved a lot of problems, but wouldn't have left much of a book) when he takes the advice of an older man to make sure, first, that she feels the same regard for him. Sorry, bub, but that is not the manly way of going about a courtship. It's your responsibility to take the risk of getting your feelings hurt.

And he'
Laura Leilani
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This was supposed to be Burney's worst book so I went into it with low expectations. At first it was horrible. The characters were so flat that they are only caricatures. But about 100 pages in, Burney finds her stride. The characters become more life like; more three dimensional and layered. At first Camilla and Edgar are so perfect that they were boring to read about but once they became fleshed out with a few faults they were more interesting. Other reviewers are right about some of their com ...more
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, library-book
It took me a while to get into this novel, I found that it started off a little slow but it gained my full attention after the first hundred pages. Like the synopsis says it's the story of Camilla, her sisters and her cousin Indiana and their pursuit of matrimony. I enjoyed the way the author described the events and the way each individual girl took in that experience.

Like any other novel, I had my favourite characters. I enjoyed Camilla but my favourite was Eugenia - Camilla's younger sister.

Burney's writing style seems to even improve as the book goes along. I loved Evelina but Camilla is very drawn out and not as interesting. The characters are all likeable or interesting which kept me reading until the end. Definitely a good summer read if you are not in a hurry. I figured out the plot midway (or before) and it pretty much ended just as I thought it would. Edgar and Camilla's suppressed communication drove me crazy and if there is any valuable lesson to take away from the story
Nicholas Ennos
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Camilla is Fanny Burney's masterpiece. It contains some of her funniest characters such as Mr Dubster and Mrs Mittin. There are also beautiful portraits of other memorable characters such as Camilla's uncle and Camilla's friend Mrs Arlbery and the dreadful governess, Miss Margland. The writing style is superb. It is better written than some of Jane Austen's novels.

If you read Jane Austen's novels you will find that Camilla was Jane Austen's favourite novel of the 18th century and is often praise
I read 'Camilla' to find out why Jane Austen wanted to kill off Dr. Marchmont at the end of it. By Book III, I had already solved the mystery, but I kept reading on.
Fanny Burney provides a fascinating cast of characters from the 'incomparable' (though sometimes rather silly) Camilla, through the amusing Sir Sedley to the mercenary Mrs Mittin. 'Camilla' depicts a world that is shaped by avoidable distress and almost fatal misinterpretations. The morally victorious happy-ending comes unexpectedly
Monty Milne
Flashes of humour, an absorbing narrative, and a real desire to read on to see the characters get their just deserts (both good and bad) - these attributes kept me turning the pages. I enjoyed this more than the author's other novels I've read (Evelina and Cecilia) and in some ways I think Burney preferable to Austen: Burney has a bit more earthiness, and there is more of a sense of violence and pathos. But the faults are many: like Austen, the mannered artificiality of style (at least to my tas ...more
This is a long-winded telling of the exhaustive exploits of a young lady and her extended family. Read this book when you have plenty of time set aside. It got a bit frustrating to me when time and time again, I thought I saw a resolution to her problems, but realized the book was only 50% done. I think the author intended for Camilla to be enchanting and lovely and artless, but to me she was kind of an airhead, twisting this way and that according to how the wind blew. And there are any number ...more
Camilla and Edgar were both very well developed! Both are obviously flawed too. For Edgar, it's mostly learning to trust Camilla, and to be kind rather than just judgmental and uptight. I liked how Edgar was NOT the "suave, debonair" type. He's a moral prig and so deadly virtuous, but still I like him very much. For Camilla, I was so mad that she was such a people-pleaser, almost a doormat. But she must be a really approachable and friendly person, so that it would be quite pleasant to interact ...more
May 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought this book was extremely annoying. I liked the characters and story enough to finish it, but most of the time I felt like I was just enduring it to get to the end. Most of the situations and misunderstandings could have been so easily avoided, and I was upset with pretty much every character at one time or another throughout the book. The climax was extremely melodramatic, but the end was fairly satisfying.
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read this book only with the aim of seeing the heroine and hero happily married, then perhaps the book is a tad too long (900+ pages). But if your interested in character and scene descriptions that prelude those of Jane Austen (who was a great fan of Frances Burney), you're in for a great read.
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Also known as Frances Burney and, after her marriage, as Madame d’Arblay. Frances Burney was a novelist, diarist and playwright. In total, she wrote four novels, eight plays, one biography and twenty volumes of journals and letters.
“The too full of real evil for me at least, to cause one moment of unnecessary uneasiness to any of its poor pilgrims. 'Tis strange...that this is not more generally considered, since the advantage would be so reciprocal from man to man. But wrapt up in our own short moment, we forget our neighbour's long hour! and existence is ultimately embittered to all, by the refined susceptibility for ourselves that monopolizes our feelings.” 4 likes
“Were you ever in love, Clarendel? speak the truth. I am just seized with a passionate desire to know.’

‘Why . . . yes.. ‘ answered he, pulling his lips with his fingers, ‘I think–I rather think. . . . I was once.’

‘O tell! tell! tell!’

‘Nay, I am not very positive. One hears it is to happen; and one is put upon thinking of it, while so very young, that one soon takes it for granted. Define it a little, and I can answer you more accurately. Pray, is it any thing beyond being very fond, and very silly, with a little touch of melancholy?”
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