“O England! England! She says – my Father – my Sisters – my friends! – shall I ever see you more?”
This study focuses on reporting in the letters of eighteenth-century writer Frances (Fanny) Burney. Our purpose is to study the occurrence of reporting from a socio-pragmatic perspective, with the aim of understanding the function of reporting in all its communicative situations as well as in personal and interpersonal functions. The results from the analysis show that reporting is more typical in Burney’s letters to close recipients, and that the saying of those closest are much more often reported than general sources like newspapers. Her reporting is often accompanied with evaluative remarks that further highlight the interactive nature of letters and emphasise the use of reporting to show personal stance. Direct reporting also seems to appear in emotionally laden contexts in particular.