Maria Edgeworth: (1767-1849)

b. 1 Jan. [New Year’s Day], Black Bourton [Blackbourton], nr. Reading, Oxfordshire; dg. Richard Lovell Edgeworth and his first wife Anna Elers (d.1772); ed. at school in Derby, 1775-80 [to aetat. 14], and afterwards in London, 1780-82; moves with her father and his wife Elizabeth [née Sneyd], to the estate he inherits at Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford - formerly and afterwards called Mostrim, having been associated with the family since 1583 - June 1782 (aetat. 15); issued Letters for Literary Ladies (1795), calling for educational reform; issues The Parents Assistant] (1796) - later reprinted in Drogheda (1802) - and Practical Education (1798), reflecting the liberal educational theories of her father and his circle, which included Thomas Day and Erasmus Darwin, and ultimately based on those of Rousseau in “Emile” - ideas modified by the disasterous effect of the system on his eldest son Lovell;
Maria becomes her father’s chief supporting in managing the estate, as well as teaching the children of his later marriages; believes in cultivating children’s memories by ‘well-arranged associations’ rather than rote; Edgeworths spared by United Irishmen during the Rebellion of 1798 on account of reputation as improving landlords; Edgeworthstown stoned by Orange mob after battle of Ballinamuck (which they visited), the windows being broken; Edgeworth’s fall under the suspicion of rebel sympathies and made ‘hostages at the inn’ in Longford; father and daughter visit the publisher Johnson in prison, where he served a six months sentence, summer 1799; her novella Castle Rackrent, purportedly the narrative of an ‘illiterate old steward’ Thady Quirk, and originally planned around a fictional family called “Stopgaps” - was published by Johnson in January 1800, appearing anonymously and probably intended as a contribution to the debate about the Union but greeted enthusiastically as the first regional novel - and expressly praised as such by Walter Scott; issued Belinda (1801) - modified under pressure in 1810 edn. to exclude the marriage between the black servant of a creole character and a white woman;
issued Moral Tales (1801); writes, with R. L. Edgeworth, an Essay on Irish Bulls (1802) - concerning ‘that which does not, and never did exist’ and claiming that the English spoken in Ireland is superior to that of England as still being ‘the language of Shakespeare’; Edgeworths travel abroad, staying at Brussels and Paris, 1802-03; Maria turns down marriage offer from Count [var. Chevalier] Abram Niclas Clewberg Edelcrantz, the private Secretary of the King of Sweden, whom she meets in the Netherlands, Dec. 1802, neither being willing to leave their own country and live in the other; a meeting with Lord Byron recorded by him in his correspondence [‘nice little unassuming [woman] if not handsome, certainly not ill-looking’’]; issues The Modern Griselda (1804); issues Leonora (1806), ded. to Count Edelcrantz; spends spent part of 1813 in London and find herself lionised there; issues Tales of Fashionable Life in 2 series [viz., 6 vols.], consisting of Ennui, The Dun, Manoeuvering, and Almeria (1st ser. 1809), and Vivian, The Absentee, Mme de Fleury, Emile de Coulanges (2nd ser. 1812); Patronage (1814) meets charges of impropriety from reviewers in altered climate;
publicly acknowledges her authorship of Castle Rackrent; reads Scott’s admiring ‘Postscript’ to Waverley (Chap. LXXII), containing praise of her, 23 Oct., 1814; issues Ormond (1817), written during her father’s last illness; death of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, 1817; issues Memoirs of R. L. Edgeworth (1820), and meets criticism for dated mentality; makes her second trip to Paris and finds herself warmly received in literary and social circles, in 1820; visits Scott at Abbotsford, 1823 and receives return visit at Edgeworthstown, Aug. 1825 - followed by a trip with him to Lakes of Killarney [infra]; Tales and Novels, in 14 vols. issued by [Hunter,] Baldwin & Cradock (London 1832); stayed at Beechwood, and later in London during Spring 1822 and passed time with the Marcets, Somervilles and Kater families, associating there with the renowned scientist William Hyde Wollaston; issues Helen (1834);
takes over management of Edgeworthstown from her brother Lovell Edgeworth, whom she pensions off and sends to England; he dies young and impecunious in America; issues Orlandino (1848), written for the Poor Relief Fund; helps to alleviate suffering during the Famine, paying for the importation of a flour and rice from Boston; suffers hunger along with her tenants; with others, signs petition for a Govt. pension eliciting a Civil List Pension of 200 for William Carleton, 1848; d. 22 May 1849, in few hours after falling ill with heart pains; and bur. in family vault, Edgeworthstown; some fragmentary notes associated with the composition of The Absentee are held in the Bodleian Library (MS Eng. e.1463); other papers are held in the National Library of Ireland; the papers of Maria Edgeworth are available on microfilm (Adam Matthew, 1995); there is a photo [Daguerrotype] of 25 May, 1841; some papers are held in the National Library of Ireland; The Absentee was produced in BBC3 in 9-11 May 2016 with Stephen Rea and Anna Healy. CAB ODNB JMC NCBE MKA ODQ RAF OCEL DIB DIW DIH DIL FDA OCIL

Maria Edgeworth
Maria Edgeworth in an engraving Alonzo Chappel (1873)

See page-images of Castle Rackrent, Preface (3rd edn. 1801)with associated text - as attached.

[ top ]

Original Works
  • Letters for Literary Ladies (London: J. Johnston 1795); Do. [other edns.] (1799; 1805; 1814); another edn. (George Town [DC]: Joseph Milligan 1810) [facs. in Early American imprints; 2nd ser., no. 20028, 1990).
  • The Parent’s Assistant, or Stories for Children, 2 vols. (London: J. Johnston 1796); Do., 6 vols. [enlarged edn.] (London: J. Johnston 1800), and Do. [another edn. of 1,000] (Drogheda 1802), for ‘use in the County Schools of Ireland’.
  • Practical Education, or The History of Harry and Lucy, 2 vols. (London: J. Johnston 1798; rep. 1815), Do. [2nd edn.], 3 vols. (London: for J. Johnston by J. Crowder 1801), ill. [3 pls. (fold)], 8o;; and Do. [1st American edn.] (NY: G. F. Hopkins 1801);
  • A Rational Primer (London: J. Johnston 1799).
  • Castle Rackrent (Dublin: P. Wogan; London: J. Johnston 1800); Do. [5th edn.] (Dublin: T. Henshall 1810), 12°. [Dix collection; Marsh’s Library]; [see reprint details].
  • Early Lessons (London: J. Johnston 1801).
  • Belinda, 3 vols. (London: J. Johnston 1801; rep. 1810).
  • Moral Tales for Young People, 5 vols. (London: J. Johnston 1801).
  • with R. L. Edgeworth, Essay on Irish Bulls (London: J. Johnston 1802; 2nd edn. 1803).
  • Popular Tales / by / Maria Edgworth, 3 vols. (London: J. Johnston) [see details].
  • Leonora, 2 vols. (London: J. Johnston 1814); [appearing sole as R. L. Edgeworth,] Essays on Professional Education (London: J. Johnston 1809).
  • Tales of Fashionable Life, 3 vols. (London: J. Johnston 1809-12) [see details].
  • Continuation of Early Lessons, 2 vols. London: J. Johnston 1814).
  • Patronage, 4 vols. London: J. Johnston 1814).
  • with R. L. Edgeworth, Readings on Poetry (London: R. Hunter 1816), xxviii, 212pp. [see details].
  • Harrington, A Tale; and Ormond, a Tale, 3 vols. (London: R. Hunter, Baldwin, Cradock & Joy 1817).
  • Do., ed. Susan Manly (Broadview Press 2007).
  • Comic Dramas in 3 Acts (London: R. Hunter, Baldwin, Cradock & Joy 1817) [Sadleir 764; contains “Love and Law”; “The Two Guardians”, “The Rose, Thistle and Shamrock”].
  • ed., Memoirs of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Esq., 2 vols. (London: R. Hunter, Baldwin, Cradock & Joy 1820).
  • Rosamund, 2 vols. (London: R. Hunter, Baldwin, Cradock & Joy 1821).
  • Frank, 3 vols. (London: R. Hunter, Baldwin, Cradock & Joy 1822).
  • Harry and Lucy, 4 vols. (London: R. Hunter, Baldwin, Cradock & Joy 1825).
  • Tales and Miscellaneous Pieces, 14 vols. (London: R. Hunter, Baldwin, Cradock & Joy 1825).
  • Little Plays for Children (London: R. Hunter, Baldwin, Cradock & Joy 1827).
  • Garry Owen, or The Snow-Woman; and Poor Bob, The Chimney Sweeper (London: Murray 1832).
  • Tales and Novels, 18 vols. (London: Baldwin [et. al.] 1832-33).
  • Helen, 3 vols. (London: R. Bentley 1834).
  • Orlandino (Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers 1848).
  • Murad the Unlucky and Other Tales, ed. Hwenry Morley (London: Cassell & Co. 1891), and Do. another edn. (London: Blackie 1906) [contains Introduction [by H.M.], “Murad the Unlucky”, “The Limerick Gloves” (both pub. 1804), “Madame de Fleury” - available at Gutenberg Project online.]
See also Oriental Tales [contains “Murad the Unlucky” (1804) with “Almoran and Hamet” (1761) by John Hawkesworth; “History of Nourjahad” (1767) by Frances Sheridan; “History of Charoba, Queen of Ægypt” (1785) by Clara Reeve.
Collected novels
  • Tales of Fashionable Life, with a preface by R. L. Edgeworth, 6 vols. [2nd Edn.] (London: J. Johnston & Co. 1809-1812) [see details].
  • Tales and Novels of Maria Edgeworth, (London: Baldwin & Cradock 1833), 352pp. [incls. Vol. 13: Leonora: with Letters on Several Subjects] - and see under Popular Tales, infra.
  • The Novels of Maria Edgeworth, 12 vols. (London: J. M. Dent; NY: Dodd, Mead 1893).
  • The Novels and Selected Works of Maria Edgeworth, gen. eds., Jane Desmarais, Tim McLoughlin and Marilyn Butler; consulting ed., W.J. McCormack, 12 Vols. [Pickering Masters] (London: Pickering & Chatto 1999-2003) [see details].
Sundry reprints
  • Henry Morley, intro., Stories of Ireland: Castle Rackrent [&] The Absentee (1886).
  • Ormond (1904), ill. by Fred Pegram.
  • M. C. Seton, intro., Maria Edgeworth: Selections from her Works [Every Irishman's Library] (Dublin [1915]), xlviii, 416pp.
  • Susan Manly, ed., Harrington (Broadview Press 2007), 325pp.

See also Mary Leadbeater, Cottage Dialogues Among the Irish Peasantry, notes and pref. by Maria Edgeworth (1811) [a second series appeared in 1813]; Clifton Johnson, Waste not, want not stories [from the “Parent’s assistant”, by M. Edgeworth] retold [Eclectic readings] (New York 1905) [copy in Oxford UL].

[ top ]

The Novels and Selected Works of Maria Edgeworth, gen. eds., Jane Desmarais, Tim McLoughlin and Marilyn Butler; consulting ed., W.J. McCormack, 12 Vols. [Pickering Masters] (London: Pickering & Chatto 1999-2003)
  • Vol. 1: Castle Rackrent, Irish Bulls, Ennui, ed. Jane Desmarais, Tim McLoughlin and Marilyn Butler; General introduction by Marilyn Butler (1999).
  • Vol. 2: Belinda, ed. Siobhán Kilfeather (2003).
  • Vol. 3: Leonora, Harrington, ed. Marilyn Butler & Susan Manly (1999).
  • Vol. 4: Manoeuvring, Vivian, ed. Claire Connolly, with Marilyn Butler (1999).
  • Vol. 5: The Absentee, Madame de Fleury, Emilie de Coulanges, ed. Heidi Van de Veire & Kim Walker, with Marilyn Butler (1999).
  • Vol. 6: Patronage, Vols. 1 & 2 , ed. Connor Carville & Marilyn Butler (1999).
  • Vol. 7: Patronage, Vols. 3 & 4 , ed. Connor Carville & Marilyn Butler (1999).
  • Vol. 8: Ormond , ed. Claire Connolly (1999).
  • Vol. 9: Helen, ed. Susan Manly & Clíona Ó ́Gallchoir (1999).
  • Vol.10: The Parent’s Assistant; Moral tales for young people, ed. Elizabeth Eger & Clíona Ó ́Gallchoir; (2003).
  • Vol. 11: Practical education, ed. Susan Manly (2003).
  • Vol. 12: Popular tales; Early lessons; Whim for whim, ed. Elizabeth Eger, Clíona Ó ́Gallchoir & Marilyn Butler (2003).
—Source: COPAC [accessed online; 21.06.2010]; go to Pickerking & Chatto Publishers [online].

Popular Tales / by / Maria Edgworth, 3 vols. (London: J. Johnston), [with an introduction by R. L. Edgeworth, Edgeworth’s Town Feb. 1804 [pp.iv-viii], of which Vol. 1 contains “Lame Jervis” [Oct. 1799; p.1]; “The Will” [June 1800 p.129ff.]; “The Limerick Gloves” [p.237ff.; Nov. 1799]; “Out of Debt / Out of Danger” [Nov. 1801; 303-75 - available at Google Books]; Do. [2nd edn.], 3 vols. (London: Johnston [printed by C. Mercier] 1805), Do. [7th edn.] 3 vols. (London: for R. Hunter, Baldwin, Cradock & Joy; Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown; G. & W. B. Whittaker; and Simpkin & Marshal 1823) [printed by C. Baldwin] [of which Vol. 3 contains “The Lottery”; “Rosanna”; “Murad the Unlucky”; “The Manufacturers” - available at Google Books online]; also in Tales and Novels by Maria Edgeworth, 18 vols. (London: Baldwin & Cradock [for J. Murray, J. Booker, et mult. al.] 1832) [of which Vol. V reprints Popular Tales, Vol. II containing “Murid the Unlucky”, “The Manufacturers”, “The Contrast”, “The Grateful Negro”, “To-Morrow” - available at Google Books online]; Do. [another edn.], in Tales and Novels, in 9 vols. (London: Simpkin & Marshall [printed by Gilbert & Rivington] 1848), ill. [pls.] - of which Vol. II contains “Lame Jervis”, “The Will”, “The Limerick Gloves”, “Out of Debt Out of Danger”, “The Lottery”, “Rosanna”, “Murad the Unlucky”, “The Manufacturers”, “The Contrast”, “The Grateful Negro”, “To-Morrow” - ending on p.485].

[ top ]

CASTLE RACKRENT; / An / HIBERNIAN TALE / TAKEN FROM FACTS, / AND FROM / THE MANNERS OF THE IRISH SQUIRES, / BEFORE THE YEAR 1782 - BY MARIA EDGEWORTH / AUTHOR OF PRACTICAL EDUCATION, LETTERS FOR LITERARY / LADIES, THE PARENT’S ASSISTANT, &c. - THE FIFTH EDITION - LONDON: / PRINTED FOR J. JOHNSON AND CO. ST PAUL’S / CHURCHYARD - 1810. [verso and end-page:] H. Bryer, Printer, Bridge-Street, Blackfriars, London. Footnotes marked by * passim; a Glossary [ advertisement to the English reader] is affixed as pp.187-216 [following “Advertisement” and blank page]. Text: [Digital image of copy held in Bodleian Library, Oxford, available at Google Books online; accessed 09.07.2010; there is a copy in the RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics”, attached]

Rackrent (3rd Edn. 1801)
Castle Rackrent [.... &c.] [3rd Edn.] (London: J. Johnson 1801) - see pages of Preface - as attached.

[ top ]

Castle Rackrent (1800) - some later editions
  • Castle Rackrent: An Hibernian Tale, taken from the facts and from the Manners of the Irish Squires before the Year 1782 [Third Edition] (London: J. Johnson, St. Paul’s Church-yard 1801), t.p. & pp.[iii]-iv available at Internet Archive - online; accessed 05.06.2107.]
  • Castle Rackrent [5th Edn.] (London: J. Johnson & Co. 1810), [iii]-xii, 216pp. [see title-page details, infra; available at Google Books - online].
  • Castle Rackrent, ed. by Anne Thackeray Richie (1895) [available at Gutenberg Project - online].
  • Castle Rackrent, ed. by Brander Matthews (London: Dent 1910).
  • Castle Rackrent, ed. by A. Norman Jeffares (Edinburgh 1953); Castle Rackrent, ed. by Caoimhín Ó Marcaigh (Dublin: Educational Company of Ireland 1970).
  • Castle Rackrent, ed. by Robert Lee Wolff [facs. rep.] (NY: Garland Press 1978).
  • Castle Rackrent: An Hibernian Tale, taken from facts, and from the Manners of the Irish Squires, before the Year 1782, ed by George Watson [World Classics; Oxford Paperbacks (OUP 1964, 1980; further reps. incl. 1989 & 1995), 160pp.
  • Castle Rackrent, in Two Irish National Tales [with The Wild Irish Girl by Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan], ed. by James M. Smith; introduced by Vera Kreilkamp; complete texts with introduction, historical contexts, critical essays [New Riverside Edns.] (Boston: Houghton Mifflin 2005), viii, 447pp. [ill.].
See full text of Castle Rackrent in Library, “Irish Classics”, infra.

Readings on Poetry / by Richard Lovell Edgeworth and Maria Edgeworth (London: R. Hunter [...] 1816), xxviii, 212, [11]p., [2]-[11] advertisements); 15cm.; Do. [2nd Edn., corrected] (London: Published by R. Hunter (successor to J. Johnson,) ... and Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, ..., 1816), xxviii, 212pp. [t.p. verso: H. Bryer, printer, ... London) [incls. Author’s Preface, pp.[iii]-xxviii, & ‘Correct list of Mr. and Miss Edgeworth’s works’, [pp.1-3 of 3rd sequence];

Tales of Fashionable Life, with a preface by R. L. Edgeworth, 6 vols. [2nd Edn.] (London: J. Johnston & Co. 1809-1812), Volume 1: Ennui; Volume 2: Almeria / Madame de Fleury / The Dun; Volume 3: Manoeuvring; Vol. 4: Vivian; Vol. 5: Emilie de Coulanges / The Absentee [Pt. 1]; Vol. VI: The Absentee [Pt. II]. Note: another edition [being the 4th, of which Vols. 4-6 are the 3rd Edn.] (London: Johnston 1813), and another edn. (1815). Also Do. [Microfilm] (British Library [1998]).

[The 1894 Macmillan Edition of The Absentee with an introduction by Anne Thackeray Ritchie and ills. by Chris Hammond is available as text and page images at Gutenberg Project - online; accessed 03.06.2018.]

[ top ]

  • Frances Edgeworth, A Memoir of Maria Edgeworth, With a Selection from Her Letters, 3 vols. (London [priv.] 1867).
  • Augustus J. C. Hare, The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold 1894).
  • Samuel Henry Romilly, intro. & annot., Romilly-Edgeworth Letters, 1813-1818 (London: John Murray [1936]), xv, 194pp.
  • Walter Sidney Scott, ed., Letters of Maria Edgeworth and Anna Letitia Barbauld selected from the Lushington Papers (London: Golden Cockerel Press 1953), 86pp., ill. [by Lettice Sandford].
  • Christina [Edgeworth] Colvin, Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England, 1813-1844 (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1971), 649pp., ill. [port.].
  • Christina Colvin, ed., Maria Edgeworth in France and Switzerland: Selections from the Edgeworth Family Letters (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1979), xxxii, 309pp., ill. [pls. & ports.].
  • F. V. Barry, Chosen Letters by Maria Edgeworth (London: Jonathan Cape 1931), 480pp., and Do. [rep. edn.] (NY: AMS 1979).

[ top ]

Sundry New Editions
  • Popular Tales (London: Routledge [1875]).
  • Maria Edgeworth: Selections from Her Works, ed. by Gerald Griffin, with an introduction by [Sir] Malcolm Cotter Seto, KCB [Every Irishman’s Library] (Dublin: Talbot Press [1919]), xlviii, 416pp. [18.5cm.].
  • Ormond (Shannon: IUP 1972), and Do., ed. by W. J. McCormack (Gloucester: Alan Sutton 1990); Do. [Gill’s Irish Classics] (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1990), 360pp.; Ormond, ed. by John Banville, [Irish Classic Novels] (Belfast: Appletree 1993), 244pp..
  • Ennui (NY: Garland Publ. 1978).
  • Essay on Irish Bulls [1802] (NY: Garland Publ. 1979), and Do., ed. by Jane Demarais & Marilyn Butler, [Classics of Irish History] (UCD Press 2006), 174pp. [see details].
  • The Absentee, ed. by W. J. McCormack & Kim Walker [World Classics] (OUP 1987).
  • Belinda [1801], intro. by Eva Figes (London: Pandora 1986); Do., ed. Eileán Ní Chuilleanáin (London: J. M. Dent: Everyman 1993), 474pp.
  • Patronage, ed. by Eva Figes (London: Pandora 1986).
  • Castle Rackrent [1800] and Ennui [1809], ed. Marilyn Butler (Harmondsworth Penguin 1992), 361pp.
  • Letters for Literary Ladies; To Which is Added, An Essay on the Noble Science of Self-justification [1795], ed. by Claire Connolly (London: Dent/Everyman Library 1993), xxvi, 95pp.

[ top ]

Modern Collected Edition: Marilyn Butler & Mitzi Myers, gen. eds., The Works of Maria Edgeworth, 12 vols (London: Pickerting & Chatto 1997-2004), incls. all major fiction and some juvenile fiction with sel. of education and occas. writings.] - of which Vol. IX contains her drama [Love and Law; The Rose, Thistle and Shamrock; and Whim for Whim [unfinished].

Anthologies & Selections incl. “Murad the Unlucky”, in Robert E. Mack, ed., Oriental Tales (Oxford: OUP 1992), pp.215-56.

See also Christina Colvin, ‘Two Unpublished MSS by Maria Edgeworth’ [1. “Langan’s Defeat”; 2. “An Irish Wedding”], in A Revew of English Literature, ed. A. N. Jeffares, VIII, 4 (Oct. 1967), pp.53-61. [Extracts under Quotations, infra.]

Papers on microfilm: The Papers of Maria Edgeworth, 1768-1849 [on microfilm], Part I: The Edgeworth Papers from the Bodleian Library, Oxford, 23 reels 35mm. silver halide pos.; Pt. 2: The Edgeworth Papers from the National Library of Ireland, c20 reels [do.]; Pt. 3: Edgeworth Papers from Other Libraries, c10 reels [do.] (resp. £1,640, £1,400, and £700), with Guides. [Oxford St., Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, SN8 1AP.] Also, The Journals of Michael Pakenham Edgeworth (1812-1881) from the Bodleian Library [India in the Age of Empire], Guide, 40pp.

Miscellaneous, G. R. Neilson, The Book of Bulls. Being a Very complete and Entertaining Essay on the Evolution of the Irish and other “Bulls”. With which is Included “Essay on Irish Bulls”, by the Edgeworths, published Early in the Century (London: Simkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. Ltd., and George Tucker 1898).

[ top ]

  • ‘The Dramatic Writers of Ireland’ [No. X], in Dublin University Magazine, LXVII (1856), pp.15-[2]3.
  • Mrs Frances A. Edgeworth, A Memoir of M. Edgeworth with Selections from her Letters, 3 vols. (London: priv. 1867).
  • Helen Zimmern, Maria Edgeworth [Eminent Women Series, ed. John H. Ingram] (London: W. H. Allen 1883), 219pp.
  • Augustus J. C. Hare, ed. The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold 1894).
  • C. J. Hamilton, Notable Irishwomen (1904) [includes life of Maria Edgeworth].
  • Emily Lawless, Maria Edgeworth [English Men of Letters Ser.] (London: Macmillan 1904; NY 1905). [see extract].
  • Constance Hill, Maria Edgeworth and her Circle in the Days of Bonaparte and Bourbon (London: John Lane 1910).
  • A. H. Patterson, The Edgeworths (Univ. Tutorial Press 1914).
  • Virginia Woolf, ‘Lives of the Obscure: Taylors and Edgeworths’, The Common Reader [1925] (London: Hogarth Press 1929), pp.146-59.
  • Harriet Jessie Butler & Harold Edgeworth Butler, eds., The Black Book of Edgeworthstown and Other Edgeworth Memoirs 1595-1817 (London: Faber & Gwyer 1927).
  • B[ertha] C[oolidge] Slade, Maria Edgeworth 1767-1849: A Bibliography Tribute (London [priv.] 1937).
  • Isabel C. Clarke, Maria Edgeworth, Her Family and Friends (London: Hutchinson 1949).
  • P. H. Newby, Maria Edgeworth (London: A Barker 1950).
  • R. F. Butler, ‘Maria Edgeworth and Sir Walter Scott: Unpublished Letters, 1823’ in Review of English Studies [n.s, 9] (1958).
  • H. W. Haussermann, The Genevese Background (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1952).
  • Elizabeth Inglis-Jones, The Great Maria (London: Faber 1959).
  • Thomas Flanagan, The Irish Novelists 1800-1850 (NY: Columbia UP 1959), pp.54-106 [Chap. 2].
  • Elisabeth Inglis-Jones, The Great Maria: A Portrait of Maria Edgeworth (CT: Greenwood Press 1959).
  • Donald Davie, The Heyday of Sir Walter Scott (London: Routledge 1961), Chap 6.
  • Christina Edgeworth Colvin, ‘Maria’s Father’, in Times Lit. Supplement (6 Jan 1966), pp.9-10.
  • Flanagan, ‘The Big Hosue of Ross Drishane’, in The Kenyon Review (Jan. 1966), pp.54-78.
  • James Newcomer, ‘Castle Rackrent: Its Structure and Its Irony’, Criticism 8, No. 2 (Spring 1966), pp.170-79.
  • Marilyn Butler, “Education and Public Life: Major Themes in the Novels of Maria Edgeworth” [D.Phil.] (University of Oxford 1966), 366pp. [Bibl. pp.357-66.]
  • Newcomer, Maria Edgeworth, The Novelist (1767-1849), A Bicentennial Study (Texas Christian UP 1967).
  • Mark Hawthorne, Doubt and Dogma in Maria Edgeworth (Gainsville: Florida UP 1967).
  • Christina Edgeworth Colvin, Two Unpublished MSS by Maria Edgeworth, A Review of English Literature, ed. A. N. Jeffares, Vol. VIII Oct. 1967), p.53ff. [ [see extract].
  • Michael Hurst, Maria Edgeworth and the Public Scene: Intellect, Fine Feeling and Landlordism in the Age of Reform (London: Macmillan 1969).
  • Cahal Daly, The Edgeworths and Their Place in History: An address, &c. (Edgeworthstown: Edgeworth Society [1969]), 2 lvs. [n. num.; 51cm.; [copy in BL.]
  • Patrick Murray, ‘The Irish Novels of Maria Edgeworth,’ in Studies, LIX, No. 235 (Autumn 1970), pp.267-78.
  • James Newcomer, ‘A Tour in Connemara’, in Éire-Ireland, 6, 4 (Winter 1971), pp.95-103 [see extract].
  • Duane Edwards, ‘The Narrator of Castle Rackrent’, in South Atlantic Quarterly, 71 (1971), c.p.125.
  • Patrick Murray, ‘Maria Edgeworth and Her Father: The Literary Partnership’, in Éire-Ireland, 6, 3 (1971), pp.39-50.
  • Marilyn Butler, Maria Edgeworth: A Literary Biography (OUP: Clarendon Press 1972), x, 531pp., ill. [facs. ports.; Bibl., pp.501-09].
  • Duane Edwards, ‘The Narrator of Castle Rackrent’, in South Atlantic Quarterly, 71, No. 1 (Winter 1972), pp.124-29.
  • Newcomer, Maria Edgeworth [Irish Writers Series] (Lewisburg: Bucknell 1973) [reprint?].
  • Edgar E. MacDonald, ed. The Education of the Heart, the Correspondence of Rachel Mordecai Lazarus and Maria Edgeworth (North Carolina UP 1977).
  • Anthony Cronin, ‘Maria Edgeworth: The Unlikely Precursor’, in Heritage Now: Irish Literature in the English Language (Dingle: Brandon 1982), pp.17-30.
  • John Cronin, ‘Maria Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent’ [Chap. 1], in The Anglo-Irish Novel: The Nineteenth Century: Vol. I (Belfast: Appletree 1980), pp.19-40.
  • ‘The Irish writer and His Public in the Nineteenth Century’, Hunter and Rawson, eds., Yearbook of English Studies, 2 (1981), pp. 102-116, espec. p.106ff.
  • Alan Warner, ‘Maria Edgeworth’, A Guide to Anglo-Irish Literature (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1981), pp.41-49.
  • [Anthony] Mark Mortimer, ‘Castle Rackrent and its historical Contexts’, in Études irlandaises, 9 (Dec. 1984), pp.107-23.
  • Tom Dunne, Maria Edgeworth and the Colonial Mind [O’Donnell Lecture, UCC] (Cork UP 1984), 23pp.
  • O[leta] Elizabeth McWhirter Harden, Maria Edgeworth’s Art of Prose Fiction (The Hague: Mouton 1971).
  • Harden, Maria Edgeworth (NY: Twayne 1984).
  • W. J. McCormack, Ascendancy and Tradition in Anglo-Irish Literary History form 1789 to 1939 (Oxford 1985).
  • Robert Tracy, ‘Maria Edgeworth and Lady Morgan: Legality versus Legitimacy’, in Nineteenth Century Fiction, Vol. 40, No. 1 (June 1985), pp.1-22.
  • Eileán Ní Chuílleanáin, ‘Woman as Writer: Dánta Grá to Maria Edgeworth’, in Irish Women, Image and Achievement (Dublin: Arlen House 1985), pp.111-26.
  • Cóilín Owens, ed., Family Chronicles: Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent (Dublin: Wolfhound Press; NJ: Barnes & Noble 1987) [incls. Marilyn Butler, ‘The Sources and Composition of Castle Rackrent’; John Cronin, ‘Maria Edgeworth, 1768-1849’; James Newcomer, ‘The Disingenuous Thady Quirk’, Elizabeth Harden, ‘Transparent Thady Quirk’, Owens, ‘Irish Bulls and Castle Rackrent’ [70-78], et al. &c.].
  • Hubert Butler, ‘Maria Edgeworth’ [1954], in The Sub-Prefect Should Have Held His Tongue, ed. R. F. Foster (London: Allen Lane/Penguin Press; Dublin: Lilliput 1990), pp.137-45.
  • W. J. McCormack, ‘French Revolution … Anglo-Irish Literature … Beginnings?: The Case of Maria Edgeworth,’ in H. Gough and David Dickson, eds., Ireland and the French Revolution (1990) [cp. 229-30].
  • Kathryn J. Kirkpatrick, ‘A Contextual Reading of Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent and Belinda’ [PhD. diss.] (NYU 1990).
  • Tom Dunne, ‘“A Gentleman’s Estate should be a Moral School”: Edgeworthstown in Faction and Fiction, 1760-1940’, in Raymond Gillespie and Gerard Moran, eds., Longford: Essays in County History (Dublin 1991), cp.118.
  • Suvendrini Perera, Reaches of Empire: The English Novel from Edgeworth to Dickens (Columbia UP 1991).
  • Elizabeth Kowaleski-Wallace, Their Fathers’ Daughter: Hannah More, Maria Edgeworth, and Patriarchal Complicity (Oxford: OUP 1991).
  • Bernard Le Gros, ‘Maria Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent’, in Jacqueline Genet, ed., The Big House in Ireland (Dingle: Brandon; NY: Barnes & Noble 1991).
  • Philip J. M. Sturgess, ‘Conclusion: A Reading of Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent’, in Narrativity: Theory and Practice (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1992), 287-311.
  • Mary Jean Corbett, ‘Another Tale to Tell: Postcolonial Theory and the Case of Castle Rackrent’, in Criticism: A Quarterly Review for Literature and the Arts, 36, 3 (1994), pp.383-400.
  • Catherine Gallagher, Nobody’s Story: Vanishing Acts of Women Writers in the Marketplace 1670-1820 (California UP 1995) [incls. Maria Edgeworth].
  • Julian Moynahan, ‘Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849): Origination and a Checklist’, in Anglo-Irish: The Literary Imagination in a Hyphenated Culture (Princeton UP 1995) [Chap. II], pp.12-42.
  • Claire Connolly, ‘Gender, Nation and Ireland: The Early Novels of Maria Edgeworth and Lady Morgan’ (PhD. Univ. of Wales 1995).
  • Kathryn Kirkpatrick, ‘Putting down the Rebellion: Notes and Gloesses on Castle Rackrent’, in Eire-Ireland, 30, 1 (1995), pp.77-90 [remarks on competing discourses in the text and glossary].
  • Julian Moynihan, ‘Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849): Origination and a Checklist’ [Chap. III], in Anglo-Irish: The Literary Imagination in a Hyphenated Culture (Princeton UP 1995), pp.12-42.
  • Kathryn Kirkpatrick, ‘Putting Down the Rebellion: Notes and Glosses on Castle Rackrent, 1800’, in Éire-Ireland, 30, 2 (Spring 1995), 77-90.
  • Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, ‘The Voices of Maria Edgeworth’s Comedy’, Theresa O’Connor, ed., The Comic Tradition in Irish Women Writers (Florida UP 1996), pp.21-39.
  • Ina Ferris, ‘Narrating Cultural Encounter: Lady Morgan and the Irish National Tale’, in Nineteenth Century Fiction, 51, 3 (Dec. 1996), pp.287-303.
  • Kathryn Kirkpatrick, ‘“Going to Law about That Jointure”: Women and Property in Castle Rackrent’, in The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 22, 1 (July 1996), pp.21-29 [available at JSTOR Ireland online].
  • W. A. Maguire, ‘Castle Nugent and Castle Rackrent: Faction and Fiction in Maria Edgeworth’, in Eighteenth-Century Ireland, Vol 11 (1996), pp.146-59 [locates Rackrent at the residence of Hugh Maguire in Tempo].
  • Andrew McCann, ‘Conjugal Love and the Enlightenment Subject: The Colonial Context of Non-Identity in Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda’, Babel 3, 4, 5 (1996) pp.56-77.
  • Brian Hollingworth, Maria Edgeworth’s Irish Writing: Language, History, Politics (Basingstoke: Macmillan 1997), 244pp., and Do., rep. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2015), 256pp.
  • Colin Graham, ‘History, Gender and the Colonial Moment: Castle Rackrent’, in Margaret Kelleher and James H. Murphy, eds., Gender Perspectives in Nineteenth-Century Ireland: Public and Private Spheres (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 1997), pp.93-103.
  • Margaret Kelleher, ‘“Philosophick Views” Maria Edgeworth and the Great Famine’, in Eire-Ireland 32, 1 (Spring 1997), pp.41-62.
  • Willa Murphy, ‘Maria Edgeworth and the Aesthetics of Secrecy’, in Ideology and Ireland in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Tadhg Foley & Seán Ryder (Dublin: Four Courts Press 1998), pp.45-54.
  • Shelley Saguaro, ‘Maria Edgeworth and the Politics of Commerce’, in Moderna Spark, 92, 2 (1998), pp.147-58.
  • Audrey Bilger, Laughing Feminism: Subversive Comedy in Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Austen [Humor in Life & Letters] (Wayne State UP 1999) [q.pp.].
  • Margot Gayle Backus, ‘“Something valuable of their own”: Children, Reproduction, and Irony in Swift, Burke, and Edgeworth’, in The Gothic Family Romance: Heterosexuality, Child Sacrifice and the Anglo-Irish Colonial Order (London: Duke UP 1999) [q.pp.].
  • Sheila A. Spector, ‘The Other’s Other: The Function of the Jew in Maria Edgeworth’s Fiction’, in European Romantic Review, 10, 3 (1999), pp.307-40.
  • Mary Jean Corbett, Allegories of Union: in Irish and English Writing, 1790-1870: Politics, History and the Family from Edgeworth to Arnold (Cambridge UP 2000), x, 228pp. [espec. Chap 1. Public affections and familial politics: Burke, Edgeworth, and Ireland in the 1790s; Chap. 2. Allegories of prescription: engendering union in Owenson and Edgeworth].
  • Willa Murphy, ‘A Queen of Hearts or an Old Maid?: Maria Edgeworth’s Fictions of Union’, in Acts of Union: The Causes, Contexts and Consequences of the Act of Union, ed., Dáire Keogh & Kevin Whelan (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2001), pp.187-201.
  • Michael Gamer, ‘Maria Edgeworth and the Romance of Real Life Novel’, in Novel, 34, 2 (Spring 2001), pp.232-66.
  • Kate Cochran, ‘The Plain Round Tale of Faithful Thady: Castle Rackrent as Slave Narrative’, in New Hibernian Review, 5, 4 (Winter 2001), pp.57-72.
  • Declan Kiberd, ‘Native Informants: Maria Edgeworth and Castle Rackrent’, in Irish Classics (London: Granta 2000), pp.243-64.
  • Susanne Hagemann, ‘Tales of a Nation: Territorial Pragmatism in Elizabeth Grant, Maria Edgeworth, and Sydney Owenson’, in Irish University Review (Autumn/Winter 2003), pp.263-78.
  • Sharon Murphy, Maria Edgeworth and Romance (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2004), 208pp.
  • Heidi Kaufman & Chris Fauske, An Uncomfortable Authority: Maria Edgeworth and Her Contexts (Delaware UP 2004), 290pp. [see contents].
  • Colleen Booker, ‘What’s Luck Got to Do With It?: Reading the East in Maria Edgeworth’s “Murad the Unlucky”’, in The Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Children's Literature, ed. , 10, 1 (2006), [online].
  • Clíona Ó Gallchoir, Maria Edgeworth: Women, Enlightenment and Nation (UCD Press 2005), 240pp.
  • Carmen María Fernández-Rodríguez, ‘Leaving Utopia Behind: Maria Edgeworth’s Views of America’, in Estudios Irlandeses, 4 (2009), pp. 9-20.
  • Derek Hand, ‘Beyond History: Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent’, in A History of the Irish Novel (Cambridge 2011), pp.60-69 [being Interchapter 2].
    See also introductions to several of her works written by A. N. Jeffares (1953), George Watson (1964), and W. J. McCormack (1988), as well as discussions in Thomas Flanagan, The Irish Novelists (1959), McCormack, Ascendancy and Tradition (1985), B. G. MacCarthy, The Female Pen: Women Writers and Novelists 1621-1818 (Cork UP 1994); Kit & Cyril Ó Céirnín, Women of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Kinvara: Tír Eolas 1996); and Vera Kreilkamp, Anglo-Irish Novel and the Big House (Syracuse UP; Eurospan 1999).

[ top ]

Bibliographical details
Heidi Kaufman & Chris Fauske, An Uncomfortable Authority: Maria Edgeworth and Her Contexts (Delaware UP 2004), 290pp., ill. [port.] CONTENTS: Introduction; Marilyn Butler, ‘Edgeworth, The United Irishmen, and “More Intelligent Treason”’; Peter Cosgrove, ‘History and Utopia in Ormond’’; Frances R. Botkin, ‘The Keener’s Cry in Castle Rackrent: The Death of Irish Culture?’; Jacqueline Belanger, ‘“Le vrai n’est pas toujours vraisemblable”: The Evaluation of Realism in Edgeworth’s Irish Tales’; Darryl Jones, ‘“Distorted Nature in a Fever”: Irish Bulls, Irish Novels, the 1798 Rebellion, and their Gothic Contexts’; Kathleen Costello-Sullivan, ‘National Character and Foreclosed Irishness: A Reconsideration of Ennui’; Heide Thomson, ‘“The Fashion Not to be an Absentee”: Fashion and Moral Authority in Edgeworth’s Tales’; Jessica Richard, ‘“Games of chance”: Belinda, Education, and Empire’; Catherine Toal, ‘Control Experiment: Edgeworth’s Critique of Rousseau’s Educational Theory’; Susan Manly, ‘Harrington and Anti-Semitism: Mendelssohn’s Invisible Agency’; Kit Kincade, A Whillaluh for Ireland: Castle Rackrent and Edgeworth’s Influence on Sir Walter Scott’; Bibliographical References (pp.270-82)’; Index.

[ top ]

See separate file [infra].

[ top ]

See separate file [infra].

[ top ]

There is an Edgeworth page online at TINET [link]

D. J. O’Donoghue, Poets of Ireland (Dublin: Hodges Figgis 1912) lists Comic Drama in Three Acts (London 1817) Dramas and Dialogues by M.E. [anon] (1860); work included in Samuel Lover’s Poems of Ireland, Hercules Ellis’s Songs of Ireland. IF lists Tales and Miscellaneous Pieces (1848); Castle Rackrent (1800); The Absentee (1807) [err. for 1812]; Ennui (1809); Ormond (1817); Tales from Maria Edgeworth (1912); Miss Edgeworth’s Irish Stories (1918).

Peter Kavanagh, The Irish Theatre: Being a History of the Drama in Ireland from the Earlieest Period up to the Present Day (Tralee: The Kerryman 1946), lists three plays in Comic Dramas (1817), none acted; Love and Law, set in Ireland with dialect; The Two Guardians, com. set in England; and The Rose, Thistle and Shamrock, incl. sentimental portrayal of Irishman. C. G. Duggan, The Stage Irishman (1937) cites Maria Edgeworth’s plays, Love and Law, and The Rose, Thistle and Shamrock, both of which Duggan describes as sound peasant comedy. Brown, Guide to Books on Ireland, cites Maria Edgeworth (Love and Law, et al. printed London 1817).

Brian McKenna, Irish Literature, 1800-1875: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale Research Co. 1978), cites Marilyn Butler, Maria Edgeworth (OUP 1972); James Newcomer, Maria Edgeworth [Irish Writers Series] (Lewisburg: Bucknell 1973); Frances Anne Edgeworth, A Memoir … with selection from her letters (1867); Grace A. Oliver, A Study (Boston 1882); Emily Lawless, Maria Edgeworth (1904); The Black Book of Edgeworthstown, ed. Harriet Jessie Butler (1927), et al. Criticism cited includes George Saintsbury (Macmillan’s Magazine, 1895), Padraic Colum (British Review, 1915), Roger McHugh (Studies 1938), Honor Tracy (Bell, 1946), and Patrick Murray (Studies, 1970). NOTE, Irish Bulls is ascribed to her alone in McKenna’s Bibliography.

Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English: The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol. 2, cites as authoritative Bertha Coolidge Slade, Maria Edgeworth 1767-1849, A Bibliographical Tribute (London 1937) 253pp. Also studies by Helen Zimmern (1883), Augustus Hare (1894), Constance Hill (1910), Isabel Clarke (1949); H. W. Hausermann (1952), Elisabeth Inglis-Jones (1959), O. Elizabeth McWhirter Harden (1965), James Newcomer (Bucknell 1973), Michael Hurst (1969), Patrick Murray (in Studies 1970); Christina Colvin (1971); Patricia Lynch (1972), and several unpublished theses.

Seamus Deane, ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, gen. ed. (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1, devotes a full section to Maria Edgeworth [ed. W. J. McCormack], and extracts from Castle Rackrent; An Essay on Irish Bulls; The Absentee; Letter to Michael Pakenham Edgeworth [‘It is impossible to draw Ireland as she now is in a book of fiction (… &c.; 19 Feb. 1834)’, [1011-51]; also 1051-52, BIOG & COMM [as above].

George Watson, ed., Castle Rackrent, An Hibernian Tale, taken from facts, and from the Manners of the Irish Squires, before the Year 1782 [World Classics (OUP 1964, reps. to 1989), cites R. F. Butler, ‘Maria Edgeworth and Sir Walter Scott, Some Unpublished Letters, 1823’, Review of English Studies, n.s., ix (1958); also ref. in The Farington Diary [held at Windsor], ed. James Greig, Vol. VIII (London 1928); Watson also cites edns. of Castle Rackrent with introductions by Anne Thackeray Ritch[i]e (1895), Brander Matthews (Everyman 1910), both with The Absentee; and A N Jeffares (Edin 1953). Sources include A Memoir of Maria Edgeworth, with a Selection from her Letters by the late Mrs [Frances] Edgeworth, 3 vols. (1867) [priv. printed]; Augustus J. C. Hare, The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, 2 vols. (1894); F. V. Barry, ed. and intro., Maria Edgeworth, Chosen Letters (London: Jonathan Cape 1931) [contains letters in Geneva]; also letters in possession of Mrs Margaret Butler, Richmond, Surrey, and NLI, Memoirs of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, 2 vols. (1820) [completed by Maria]; H. J. and H. E. Butler, The Black Book of Edgeworthstown and other Edgeworth Memoirs, 1585-1817 (1927); commentaries include Hon. Emily Lawless (1904); P. H. Newby, Maria Edgeworth (1950); Isabel C. Clarke, Maria Edgeworth, Her Family and Friends ([1950]; Elisabeth Inglis-Jones, The Great Maria (1959); Bertha Coolidge Slade, Maria Edgeworth, A Bibliographical Tribute (1937) [ltd. ed.]. Watson (1964) also acknowledges assistance of Mrs Margaret Butler, widow of Harold Edgeworth Butler; Marilyn Butler, author of forthcoming study; Mrs. Christina Colvin of Oxford, et al.

Rolf & Magda Loeber, with Anne Mullin Burnham, A Guide to Irish Fiction, 1650-1900 (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2006) - Introduction: ‘[...] Richard Lovell Edgeworth and Maria Edgeworth noted that “General principles of taste and criticism have been spread in society by reviews and magazines”. (Edgeworths, Readings on Poetry, London, 1816; 2nd corr. edn., pp.xix-xx; here p.lxiii.)

[ top ]

Irish Libraries
Long Room (TCD LIbrary 1978) lists Practical Education, 2nd edn. in 3 vols. (London: for J. Johnston by J. Crowder 1801), 3 pls. (fold), 8o.

Belfast Public Library holds Belinda (1848); Castle Rackrent and The Absentee (1895); Castle Rackrent; Essay on Irish Bulls; Noble Science of Self-Justification, Ennui and The Dun (1848); Comic Dramas in three acts (1817); Forgive and Forget, and Rosanna, translated into Irish for the Ulster Gaelic Soc. by Thomas Feenachty (1833); Harrington,; Thoughts on Bores, and Ormond (1848); Harry and Lucy concluded (1825); Helen (1848); Irish Tales (n.d.); Manoeuvring; Almeria, and Vivian (1848); Moral Tales (1820, 1849); Ormond (1817); Patronage, Comic Dramas, Leonora, and Letters, 2 vols. (1848); Popular Tales (1848); Stories of Ireland; Castle Rackrent, and The Absentee (1886); Tales and Miscellaneous pieces, 14 v. (1825); Tour in Connemara (1950); Essay on Irish Bulls (1802); Memoirs of Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1820). has extensive holdings.

University of Ulster, Morris Collection holds Forgive and Forget, and Rosanna (1833); Selections from her Works (Dublin: Talbot c.1920), 419p.; Selected Tales (Dublin: Browne & Nolan 1906).

Shell Guide to Ireland, ed. Lord Killalin [Morris] (1966) lists in Mostrim [Meathas Troim], Longford, Edgeworthstown House, home of family for 400 years; visited by Scott, 1825, by Wordsworth, 1829.

ODNB Errata: Dictionary of National Biography, 7th Imp., corrects ‘letters to’ to ‘letters for’.) Further, ‘A prize essay on Ennui was read to the Academy of Berlin, which put all the judges to sleep!’ [title unnamed and unknown, cited by Marilyn Butler.]

[ top ]

Practical Education
(1798) is usually attributed to Maria Edgeworth. Yet she explicitly writes in her Memoirs of R. L. Edgeworth (1821) that the pedagogic text was begun by R.L.E. with Mrs. Honora Edgeworth in 1778: ‘[…] being the first part of ‘Harry and Lucy’ or of Practical Education, as I [M.E.] find it called in the titlepage … printed literally for his own children and not published for many years afterwards.’ The Memoirs are not so much an edition of her father’s writings as a recasting of his autobiography - written at the behest of a son - in the form of a 3rd person biographical narrative.

Colambre?: John Nugent of Castle Nugent Culambre was a br. of Grace Nugent, the object of Carolan’s poem, cited as such in a letter of Charles O’Conor to J. C. Walker (see Letters, ed. Ward & Ward, 1988, p.455.) Note that this connection with the principal character of The Absentee is carefully elaborated by J. W. McCormack in his Oxford Classics edition of the work.

Punctuated: The daughter of Sir Edward Codrington 1770-1851) of Trafalgar and Navarino (where he was the victor), has left a description of his powdering while his would stand reading to him ‘one of Miss Edgeworth’ charming little stories’, her father correction her punctuation as she did so. (See Paul Johnson, ‘To Hell with Picasso’, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1996, q.p.) Note: There is a life of Sir Edward Codrington (Memoir of the life of Admiral Sir Edward Codrinfton ... &c., ed. by his daughter Lady [Jane] Bourchier, 1873, 2 vols.; ded. To the memory of a dear and honoured father from a loving and grateful daughter; available at Internet Archive - online; accessed 22.12.2017.)

John Wilson Croker’s anonymous Intercepted Letter from Canton (1804) is the source of Maria Edgeworth’s account of the post-Union middle class in The Absentee, according to W. J. McCormack (see under Croker, RX).

[ top ]

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

When Sir Walter made his only visit to Ireland, a month-long stay in the summer of 1825, he was an internationally acclaimed poet and author of a hugely popular series of novels with a Scottish historical setting, which began with Waverley (1814). Though published anonymously - he didn’t acknowledge his authorship until 1827 - it was an open secret that he was the author. He stayed in Dublin for a fortnight. The Dublin Penny Journal reported that he ‘lingered long’ before the Swift monument in St Patrick’s Cathedral, visited the recently widowed spouse of his long-time correspondent, the author Revd Charles Maturin, and ‘endeavoured to mitigate her sorrows by an act of munificent generosity’, delighted Mr Milliken, bookseller in Grafton Street, by purchasing £60 worth of books on history and antiquities, and dined with the lord lieutenant in Malahide Castle. Everywhere he went, reported the Journal, he was greeted with ‘unequivocal demonstrations of public estimation and favour’. Thereafter he spent an entire day in Glendalough, where, despite his lameness - the consequence of childhood polio—he made the ascent to St Kevin’s Bed. He went on to the Lakes of Killarney in the company of novelist Maria Edgeworth, before returning to the capital via Cork, where he was accorded the freedom of the city, and Cashel. He was not over-impressed with Killarney, the Journal reporting that it ‘failed to draw forth those expressions of enthusiastic pleasure excited by the antiquities of Glendalough and Cashel’. Finally, before his departure from Howth, he held a large dinner party for his friends to celebrate his 54th birthday. He died of cholera in 1832. [Port. by Sir William Allan.]

—See History Ireland, Sept. 2017; - online; accessed 21.09.17.

Walter Scott by William Allan

[ top ]

G. R. Neilson, The Book of Bulls: Being a Very complete and Entertaining Essay on the Evolution of the Irish and other “Bulls”. With which is Included “Essay on Irish Bulls”, by the Edgeworths, published Early in the Century (London: Simkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. Ltd., and George Tucker 1898). The editor claims that his omitsasp aspects of the Edgeworth text which editor considers ‘censorious - even ill-natured’ and publishes only its stories - not its comments or moralising’, adding fifty pages of fresh bulls ‘to bring the collection made by Dr. [sic] and Miss Edgeworth up to date’ (p.147; cited in Martin J. Croghan, ‘Maria Edgeworth and the Tradition of Irish Semiotics’, in Donald E. Morse, et al., eds., A Small Nation’s Contribution to the World, Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1993, pp.194-206.)

[ top ]

B. G. MacCarthy discusses Edgeworth, inter al., under the following chapter-headings of The Female Pen: Women Writers and Novelists 1621-1818 (Cork UP 1994): ‘The Oriental Novel’ (Chap. IX), and ‘The Didactic Novel with Prominent Local Colour’ (Chap. XII). Bibl. includes Constance Hill, Maria Edgeworth and her Circle in the Dayes of Bonaparte and Bourbon (1910); Emily Lawless, Maria Edgeworth (1904); A. H. Patterson, The Edgeworths (Univ. Tutorial Press 1914); Harriet Jessie Butler and Harold Edgeworth Butler, eds., The Black Book of Edgeworthstown and Other Edgeworth Memoirs 1585-1817 [sic] (1927); Helen Zimmern, Maria Edgeworth [Eminent Women Ser.] (1883).

Essay on Irish Bulls, account of author’s object, being ‘[to] succeed in diffusing a more just and enlarged idea of the Irish’ (Garland ed., 1979, p.315).

Mary Campbell (d.2001), wife and widow of Flann Campbell [son of Joseph Campbell] owned a copy of the work of Madame de Genlis with Maria Edgeworth’s signature on the front papers. Mary and Flann settled on Green Rd., Blackrock, Co. Dublin in the 1980s after many years London. He was a teacher and a published writer on Ulster presbyterian nationalists and a life-long member of Marxist groups in London.

Tom Paulin: Paulin takes Thady in Castle Rackrent to be a parody of Edmund Burke. (See Declan Kiberd, review of The Day-Star of Liberty: William Hazlitt’d Radical Prose, in Irish Times, 13 June 1998, Weekend.)

First Flush notice of Daire Keogh & Kevin Whelan, Acts of Union: The Causes, Contexts and Consequences of the Act of Union (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2001), refers to Castle Rackrent: ‘The metaphor of a bad marriage […] is reflected in the text and on the cover [of Keogh & Whelan]. For instance in one essay the domineering patriarch is discussed with relation to Maria Edgeworth and her father. Her revenge is seen as being Castle Rackrent and Ennui that depict characters Kit and Jessica, Isabella and Condy, Glenthorn and Geraldine who are as mismatched in their unions as oil and vinegar. (Books Ireland, Feb. 2002, p.33.)

[ top ]

The great cloak (1): Standish O’Grady claimed in Ulrick The Ready (1899) that the wearing of what was called the Irish cloak - opprobriously mentioned in the first note to Castle Rackrent (1800) - was a custom learned from a previous generation of English colonist, viz., Richard Plantagenet (q.p.)

The great cloak (2): W. B. Yeats commences his story, “Proud Costello, the Daughter of MacDermott and the Bitter Tongue”, in The Secret Rose (1897) with the sentence: ‘Costello had come up from the fields and lay upon the ground before the door of his square tower, resting his head upon his hands and looking at the sunset, and considering the chances of the weather. Though the customs of Elizabeth and James, now going out of fashion in England, had begun to prevail among the gentry, he still wore the great cloak of the native Irish’ (See Early Poems and Stories, Macmillan 1925, p.376.)

Big House: Christine Case & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland, North Leinster (Penguin), in the Pevsner architectural series, remarks that Castle Rackrent in Edgeworth’s novel is said to be modelled on Tristernagh Abbey, and characterises laissez faire attitude of successive Irish governments to architectural heritage as a ‘perfect, inexcusable waste’.

Portrait: There is an ink portrait in profile by James Slater. (See Nicola Trott, ‘Henglishwoman from Hoxfordshire’, review of Sharon Murphy, Maria Edgeworth and Romance, and Clíona Ó Gallchoir, Maria Edgeworth: Women, Enlightenment and Nation, in Times Literary Supplement, 6 Jan. 2005).

[ top ]

Scientific daze: Melvyn C. Usselman cites a letter of ME to Mrs Edgeworth, Jan 16, 1822 (in Colvin, Letters from England, p.321) in his life of Edward Wollaston - where Maria Edgeworth tells of two meetings with Wollaston and his character [‘esteemed, beloved, admired .. by all who knew him.’ (p.7.) Further remarks on a stay in Beechwood - the home of Sir John Saunders Seabright - and later London of 1822, when she met Wollaston at the homes of the Marcets, Somervilles, and Kater families. See Usselman, Pure Intelligence: The Life of William Hyde Wollaston (Chicago UP 2015), p.7, 327f. Also cites MacCormack [sic], ‘Edgeworth, Maria, 1768-1849’, oDNB [Notes].

Mary Somerville’s Apprenticeship: contact with Edward Wollaston (Patterson, op. cit. infra, p.40)
Eliz Chambers Patterson Eliz Chambers Patterson  
E. C. Patterson, Mary Somerville and the Cultivation of Science, 1815-1840 (Martinus Nijhoff 1983)
[Click images to enlarge.]

Judge Lefroy [Thomas Langlois Lefroy, Chief Justice of Ireland]
Maria Edgeworth was acquainted with Thomas Langlois Lefroy, the sometime Lord Chief Justice of Ireland who "flirted" with Jane Austen while in England in 1796. An allusion to the Edgeworth-Lefroy friendship is made in Anne Thackeray Ritchie's Introduction to the 1894 Macmillan edition of The Absentee - as here.
Anne Thackeray Ritchie
The Absentee, by Maria Edgeworth; introduced by Anne Thackeray Ritchie - Introduction, p.xi; available at Internet Archive - online. Note: The ‘great Irish kitchen garden’ pertains to the Carriglass House where Ritchie is staying - presumably as a guest of the Lefroys.
See further under Lefroy - infra.

[ top ]