Thought to be a reference to the novel Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World, written by the celebrated Fanny Burney – later known as Madame d’Arblay – and first published in 1778. Over three-volumes it tells the story of a young woman Evelina Anville who is the rejected but legitimate daughter of a wastrel aristocrat. It follows her adventures as she moves from rural seclusion to London and eventually onto find love. The story satirises the society in which it is set and is said to be a significant precursor to the work of Jane Austen and was a critical and financial success being described as a “landmark in the development of the novel of manners”. The author’s brother, Charles Burnley, was rector of St Paul’s, Deptford, in the neighbouring borough. The road was named in 1869.
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