Edgeworth, Maria

Maria Edgeworth, by Richard Beard
Maria Edgeworth in old age. Daguerreotype by Richard Beard, 1841. Image source Wikipedia. Public domain.

Maria Edgeworth was born on New Year’s Day 1767, at Blackbourton, Oxfordshire.

In 1782 she settled in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford with her father Richard Lovell Edgeworth, who was himself born in Bath, although the family had settled in Ireland in Elizabethan times.

She acted as his chief assistant and secretary in the management of his estates there, which included the Goldsmith Country.

Her most famous work is the novel Castle Rackrent (1800).

Her other work includes Letters to Literary Ladies (feminist essay, 1795); The Parent’s Assistant (6 vols, 1796 ); Practical Education (2 vols in collaboration with her father, 1798); Early Lessons (1801); Belinda (novel, 1801); Popular Tales (1804); The Modern Griselda (1804); Moral Tales for Young People (6 vols, 1805); Leonore (1806); Tales of Fashionable Life (1809); Patronage (4 volume novel, 1814); Harrington (1817); Ormond (1817); Comic Dramas (1817); and Helen (1834).

Elected as an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy, her last years were marred by the Great Famine (1845-51), during which she did her best to relieve the starving.

She died in 1849, and was buried in a vault of Edgeworthstown Church.

Maria Edgeworth at Wikipedia
Maria Edgeworth’s work at archive.org
Maria Edgeworth at The National Library of Ireland