Madame D’Arblay’s high opinion of The Vicar of Wakefield in her Diary, August 1778
Fanny Burney (1752-1840) had recorded her feelings about The Vicar of Wakefield ten years before this (see No. 9 and the biographical information there). Now in 1778, the year she anonymously published Evelina, or a Young Lady's Entrance into the World, she recorded this estimate, an opinion almost the same as her early one; in any case, she seems never to have vacillated. For further background to her appraisal of Goldsmith's novel, see Joyce Hemlow, The History of Fanny Burney (Oxford, 1958), pp. 19-20. The passage here appears in the Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay, ed. Charlotte Barrett (Philadelphia, 1842), pp. 38-9.