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Author photo. Courtesy of the <a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1227594">NYPL Digital Gallery</a> (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Maria Edgeworth (1767–1849)

Author of Castle Rackrent

Includes the names: MARIA EDGEWOOD, Maria Edzhvort, Miss Edgeworth, Miss Edgeworth, Maria Edgeworth, EDGEWORTH (Maria)

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Maria Edgeworth was born in Blackbourton, Oxfordshire, England on January 1, 1767. She was educated at a school in Derby, England and then attended a school in London. In 1782, she went to live with her father at Edgeworthstown and acted as his chief assistant and secretary in the management of his estates. She helped educate her brothers and sisters, and the stories she invented for them were later published under the title The Parents Assistant. Her novels and stories fall into three categories: sketches of Irish life, commentary on contemporary English society, and instruction in children's moral training. Her first work, Letters for Literary Ladies, a plea for the reform of woman's education, was published in 1795. She would later collaborate with her father Richard Lovell Edgeworth on Practical Education and Essays on Professional Education. Her first novel, Castle Rackrent, was published in 1800. Her other works include Belinda, Moral Tales, The Absentee, and Helen. During the Irish famine (1845-1847), she did what she could to alleviate the suffering of the Irish peasants including having a large quantity of flour and rice sent over from Boston to give out among the starving. She died in 1849 at the age of 82. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from Castle Rackrent… (more)
Castle Rackrent 832 copies, 22 reviews
Belinda 567 copies, 7 reviews
The Absentee 360 copies, 8 reviews
Castle Rackrent / The Absentee 184 copies, 1 review
Ormond 156 copies, 2 reviews
Helen 138 copies, 2 reviews
Patronage 93 copies, 4 reviews
Moral Tales for Young People 36 copies, 1 review
The Parent's Assistant 34 copies, 1 review
Ennui 31 copies, 1 review
Harrington 27 copies, 1 review
The Lottery 20 copies
Popular Tales 19 copies
Leonora 17 copies
The Bracelets 10 copies
Harry & Lucy 8 copies
Frank 6 copies
Simple Susan 4 copies
Orlandino 3 copies
Vivian 2 copies
Lazy Lawrence 2 copies
Rosanna 1 copy
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From PBS.org: Maria Edgeworth is often called the "Irish Jane Austen" or the "female Sir Walter Scott," although her writing actually influenced both. Her novels and stories fall into three categories: sketches of Irish life, commentary on contemporary English society, and instruction in children's moral training. Published between 1796 and 1834, her work is characterized by both a Scott-like Romantic attachment to the past and an Austenian wit and rationalism. The English-born Edgeworth was the second of her father's 21 children (by four wives). She was schooled in Derby, England, and then in London. Her father believed that education was central to the construction of the "new" individual of the 18th-century, who would rise on merit rather than birth -- an idea derived from and also spurring the revolutions in politics and philosophy in the late 1700s. In 1782, Maria Edgeworth went to live with her father in Ireland and served as his property manager. Here she collected material for her novels about Irish landlords and peasants, but she also ingested his theories of education. Thirteen years later, Maria Edgeworth's first published work appeared: "Letters for Literary Ladies," a plea for women's education reform. She would later collaborate with her father on Practical Education (1798) and Essays on Professional Education (1809). Maria Edgeworth's first novel, probably her most famous work, Castle Rackrent (1800), was originally published anonymously. During the Irish famine of 1845-1847, she worked arduously for the relief of the Irish peasants.
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