Portrait of a Lady as Evelina (c. 1780-1789). John Hoppner (1758-1810). Oil on canvas.

In the 1778 novel, title character Evelina is the unacknowledged but legitimate daughter of a dissipated English aristocrat, thus raised in rural seclusion until her 17th year. Evelina learns to navigate the complex layers of 18th-century society and earn the love of a distinguished nobleman. This sentimental novel, which has notions of sensibility and early romanticism, satirizes the society in which it is set. 

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