Frances Burney (13 June 1752 – 6 January 1840), also known as Fanny Burney and after her marriage as Madame d’Arblay, was an English satirical novelist, diarist and playwright. She was born in Lynn Regis, now King’s Lynn, England, on 13 June 1752, to the musician and music historian Dr Charles Burney (1726–1814) and his first wife, Esther Sleepe Burney (1725–1762). The third of her mother’s six children, she was self-educated and began writing what she called her “scribblings” at the age of ten.
In 1786–1790 she was an unusual appointment as a courtier, becoming “Keeper of the Robes” to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, George III’s queen. In 1793, aged 41, she married a French exile, General Alexandre D’Arblay. Their only son, Alexander, was born in 1794. After a lengthy writing career, and travels, during which she was stranded in France by warfare for more than ten years, she settled in Bath, England, where she died on 6 January 1840.
Burney wrote four novels, of which the first, Evelina (1778), was the most successful, and remains the most highly regarded. She also wrote several plays, most never given public performances in her lifetime, a memoir of her father (1832), and left large quantities of letters and journals, which have been gradually published since 1889.