Fanny Burney, the well known novelist, diarist and playwright, was born in 1752. Her first novel, Evelina, proved popular with the public and was praised by Doctor Johnson. This brought Fanny to the notice of that well-known patron of the arts, Hester Thrale of Streatham Park. From 1779-83 Fanny would often stay for long periods with Hester at Streatham Park. She wrote about her visits in long letters to her family.
She later worked for Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, and became close to the Royal Family and in 1793 married the French exile General D’Arblay in 1793. From then on she was known as Madame D’Arblay until her death in 1840.