Maria Edgeworth

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Edgeworth, Maria,

1767–1849, Irish novelist; daughter of Richard Lovell Edgeworth. She lived practically her entire life on her father's estate in Ireland. Letters for Literary Ladies (1795), her first publication, argued for the education of women. She is best known for her novels of Irish life—Castle Rackrent (1800), Belinda (1801), and The Absentee (1812). Although her works are marred somewhat by didacticism, they are notable for their realism, humor, and freshness of style. She also wrote a number of stories for children, including Moral Tales (1801).


See selected letters ed. by C. Colvin (1971); studies by M. Butler (1972) and C. Owens (1987).

Edgeworth, Maria


Born Jan. 1, 1767, in Black Bourton, Great Britain; died May 22, 1849, in Edgeworthstown, Ireland. Irish writer.

In Letters to Literary Ladies (1795) and Practical Education (vols. 1–2,1798), Edgeworth presented a detailed program of education, including that of women, in the spirit of the pedagogical ideas of the Enlightenment. A profound penetration into child psychology can be observed in her didactic stories for children. Edgeworth gained fame for her “Irish novels.” The destruction of the patriarchal way of life and the triumph of bourgeois relationships are the subject matter of the novel of society and everyday life Castle Rackrent (1800; Russian translation, 1972). The novel The Absentee (1812; Russian translation, 1972) is devoted to the urgent problems of early 19th-century Ireland. In laying bare class haughtiness and affectation, Edgeworth proved herself to be an outstanding satirist. Her realistic mastery comes to life most brilliantly in her portraits of heroes from among the people. She was the author of the novels Belinda (1801) and Tales of Fashionable Life (series 1–2,1809–12). Edgeworth’s pedagogical essays and stories for children were popular in Russia.


Selections From the Works of Maria Edgeworth. London, 1919.
Chosen Letters. London, 1931.
Letters From England 1813–1844. Oxford, 1971.


Bel’skii, A. A. Angliiskii roman 1800–1810gg. Perm’, 1968.
McWhorter Harden, O. Maria Edgeworth’s Art of Prose Fiction. The Hague-Paris, 1971.
Hurst, M. Maria Edgeworth and the Public Scene. [London, 1970.]
Butler, M. Maria Edgeworth. Oxford, 1972.


References in periodicals archive ?
Could it be that some authors of children's literature such as Hannah More and Maria Edgeworth, paved the way for the growth of an industrious generation bent on taming the ever-expanding western horizon of America?
The work of Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849) offers an interesting starting point.
The analysis is based on Maria Edgeworth Ennui (1809), which skillfully and self-consciously combines various kinds of factual discourse (e.
42 Novelist Maria Edgeworth, a contemporary of Jane Austen, based her still-admired Castle Rackrent on her experiences in which country?
His 1959 study, The Irish Novelists, 1800-1850, rescued from oblivion such writers as Maria Edgeworth, Lady Morgan, Gerard Griffin, and William Carleton, and established a context for them in Irish literary history.
Ireland's women writers are well-represented here, too, among them novelist Maria Edgeworth, playwright Augusta Gregory, poet Katherine Tynan and short-story writer Elizabeth Bowen.
Among these authors were Tobias Smollet (Peregrine Pickle, 1751), Maria Edgeworth (Harrington, 1816), William Makepeace Thackeray (Rebecca and Rowena, 1850), Charles Lytton Bulwer, (Leila, 1838).
Vortex of dissipation had been used twice, by Maria Edgeworth in her Moral Tales, Breakfast (1802), and in Dr James Fordyce's Sermons to Young Women (1766), a volume Mr Collins ostentatiously picks up and reads in opposition to novels in Pride & Prejudice.
The first section includes essays on Tristram Shandy, The Vicar of Wakefield, Frances Burney, and Maria Edgeworth.
Thus, after briefly delineating in Chapter 2 the history of white abolitionist discourse in England and the United States in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (in which McBride includes readings of Maria Edgeworth, William Cowper, Amelia Opie, William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, William Lloyd Garrison, and Benjamin Lundy), McBride interprets in Chapters 3 through 6, respectively, Mary Princess History (1831), Phillis Wheatley's eighteenth-century poems and letters, Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative (1789), and Frederick Douglass's Narrative (1845).
His widowed mother, Anna Maria Beddoes, a younger sister of the novelist Maria Edgeworth, was living with her two daughters on the British island of Jersey off the French coast.
IF GENDER FEMINISTS ARE REACTIONARIES, where does that place equity feminists such as pioneers Elizabeth Cady Stanton ("We ask no better laws than those you have made for yourselves"), Mary Wollstonecraft ("I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body"), Maria Edgeworth ("Power is the law of man; make it yours"), and Sommers herself ("I have been moved to write this book because I am a feminist who does not like what feminism has become")?