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 ?
An Uncomfortable Authority: Maria Edgeworth and her Contexts.
Este trabajo se engloba dentro de un proyecto mas amplio sobre la recepcion de Maria Edgeworth en Europa (Fernandez 2004; 2006; 2008a; 2008b; 2010a; 2010b) y pretende analizar el texto "Los dos fabricantes", una traduccion al castellano de "The Manufacturers", octava historia de Popular Tales (1804).
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 writer sent the book, shortly after it was published in 1815, to fellow novelist Maria Edgeworth, whose family have put it up for sale.
It is no coincidence that Sarah Harriet was an enthusiastic reader of Jane Austen and an admirer of Maria Edgeworth and Sir Walter Scott.
Several make effective use of fiction: by Lady Morgan, Maria Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Elizabeth Bowen.
In Northanger Abbey, for instance, Baker traces out literary connections to Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, and John Gay (241-42); Alexander Pope, Thomas Gray, James Thomson, and William Shakespeare (243); Anne Radcliffe and Maria Edgeworth (252); and Francis Lathom, Eliza Parson, Regina Marie Roche, Peter Will, Eleanor Sleuth, and Peter Teuthold (253).
Grounding her discussion in the work of established experts on age and aging in Britain such as Pat Thane, Peter Stearns, Susannah Ottaway, and Lynn Botelho, in addition to frequent references to archival materials, Looser crafts a convincing argument for the re-examination of women writers like Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, Jane Porter, and Anna Letitia Barbauld, paying closer attention to their later lives and works.
Hilton demonstrates how these and such diverse writers as Maria Edgeworth, Hannah More, Sarah Trimmer, Mary Sherwood, Jane Marcet, Mary Carpenter and others, exploited different educational genres to disseminate their deeply held and often contested cultural, moral, social and political views.
These literary connections, the book reveals, were major influences on Stowe's style and subject matter (see in particular Monika Elbert's essay on Stowe and Walter Scott and Cliona O Gallchoir's on Stowe and Irish novelists Maria Edgeworth and Sydney Owenson).
12) For a discussion of the significance of the Irish funeral in Edgeworth's fiction see Frances Botkin's "The "The Keener's Cry: The Funeral Wail and the Irish Novel," in A Troubled Authority: Maria Edgeworth and her Contexts.
The collection concludes with a bibliography of Butler's works, compiled by Heather Glen--a list that indicates the great range of Butler's scholarship, from the four influential books that she published between 1972 and 1981 (Maria Edgeworth: A Literary Biography, Jane Austen and the War of Ideas, Peacock Displayed, and Romantics, Rebels, and Reactionaries), to her editorial labors on the Pickering and Chatto editions of the works of Mary Wollstonecraft and Maria Edgeworth, to almost fifty articles, to a series of major book reviews especially in the London Review of Books.