Fanny Burney was a prolific writer from an early age until her death, and her letters and diaries afford fascinating glimpses of English society in the latter half of the eighteenth century and the early years of the nineteenth. She loved Bath, and visited the city frequently. In 1780, two years after the publication of her first, and best-known novel, Evelina, she stayed at 14 South Parade with Mr and Mrs Thrale, the great friends of Dr Johnson. A bronze tablet on the house commemorates this visit.
She married General Alexandre d’Arblay, a French immigrate, when she was forty, and lived with him in France until he was seriously wounded, fighting against Napoleon in the Waterloo campaign. They then returned to England and settled in Bath until d’Arblay’s death in 1818. Earlier, she had written to a friend: ‘I wish to live in Bath, wish it devoutly, for at Bath we shall live, or nowhere in England. Bath is… the only place for us since here, all the year round there is always the town at command and always the country for prospect, exercise and delight’. She died in the city she loved so well, at the age of eighty-seven, and was buried at Walcot Church.