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First published in 1878 and still widely read The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy was the most influential interpretation of the Italian Renaissance in the 19th century. Burkhardt considered the study of ancient history an intellectual necessity and deals with all aspects of Renaissance society; its painting, sculpture and architecture, and the social institutions of its daily life.
Evelina, the title character, is the unacknowledged daughter of a dissipated English aristocrat. She is raised in seclusion and when she grows into a beautiful and intelligent young woman she travels to London to be introduced into society. The novel then follows her growth through a series of sometimes harrowing episodes. Some critics see the novel as autobiographical. Burney originally published the work anonymously in 1778 and only acknowledged authorship when the book became wildly successful.
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