Date of Award

Spring 3-22-2022

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


English and Linguistics

Department Chair or Program Director

Levin, Jonathan

First Advisor

McAllister, Marie

Major or Concentration



Frances Burney explores the complex intersection of class and courtship in her novel Evelina as her heroine enters adulthood and consequently the marriage market. Throughout the novel, the heroine, Evelina, is pursued or courted by men as she is situated in three distinct class settings. First, she enters society in a respectable middle class setting, then a lower-middle class setting, before finally settling in an upper class setting and gets married. This development in the novel represents the significant affect class has on relationships in the 18th century. Ultimately, Burney communicates how a marriageable woman’s social and economic status clearly correlates with the level of respect she is given by suitors.