Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World is a novel written by English author Fanny Burney and first published in 1778. Although published anonymously, its authorship was revealed by the poet George Huddesford in what Burney called a "vile poem".
In this 3-volume epistolary novel, title character Evelina is the unacknowledged but legitimate daughter of a dissipated English aristocrat, thus raised in rural seclusion until her 17th year. Through a series of humorous events that take place in London and the resort town of Hotwells, near Bristol, Evelina learns to navigate the complex layers of 18th-century society and come under the eye of a distinguished nobleman with whom a romantic relationship is formed in the latter part of the novel. This sentimental novel, which has notions of sensibility and early romanticism, satirizes the society in which it is set and is a significant precursor to the work of Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth, whose novels explore many of the same issues.