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MARIA EDGEWORTH. Early Lessons. Published by Longman Brown & Co (and others), 1855. A New Edition, collected into one volume. Small thick 8vo, pp (4), 432, an extra engraved title page, an engraved frontispiece, a little thumbed throughout, a little weak internally, hinge at title page cracking. Spine lacking, original red cloth covers, but lower cover detached, and upper cover nearly so. [Maria Edgeworth was a novelist and children's writer of Anglo-Irish descent. She was one of the first realist writers in children's literature. Maria Edgeworth was born at Black Bourton, Oxfordshire, on January 1, 1768. She was the second child of Richard Lovell Edgeworth and Anna Maria Edgeworth (née Elers) and thus an aunt of Francis Ysidro Edgeworth. Maria's mother died when she was a young child. On her father's second marriage to Honora Sneyd in 1773, she went with him to Ireland, where she eventually was to settle on his estate, Edgeworthstown, in County Longford. There, she mixed with the Anglo-Irish gentry, particularly Kitty Pakenham (later the wife of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington), Lady Moira, and her aunt Margaret Ruxton of Black Castle. Maria was sent away to school for years by her stepmother. Upon returning home at the age of fourteen, Maria helped take care of her many silblings. She acted as manager of her father's estate later drawing on this experience for her novels about the Irish. Edgeworth's early literary efforts were melodramatic rather than realistic. She wrote many children's novels that conveyed moral lessons to their audience. One of her schoolgirl novels features a villain who wore a mask made from the skin of a dead man's face. Edgeworth's first published work was Letters for Literary Ladies in 1795, followed in 1796 by her first children's book, The Parent's Assistant (which included Edgeworth's celebrated short story The Purple Jar), and in 1800 by her first novel Castle Rackrent, which was an immediate success. The Parent's Assistant was Maria's first collection of children's stories, influenced by her father's work and perspectives on childrens education. Edgeworth was an extremely popular author who was compared with her contemporary writers Jane Austin and Sir Walter Scott. Mr. Edgeworth, a well-known author and inventor, encouraged his daughter's career, and has been criticized for his insistence on approving and editing her work. The tales in The Parent's Assistant were approved by her father before he would allow them to be read to her younger siblings (he was married four times and had 22 children). Castle Rackrent was written and submitted for anonymous publication without his knowledge. It is speculated that her stepmother and siblings also helped in the editing process of Edgeworth's work. Edgeworth wrote many books and used her earnings to support her siblings. In 1802 the Edgeworth family went abroad, first to Brussels and then to Consulate France (during the Peace of Amiens, a brief lull in the Napoleonic Wars). They met all the notables, and Maria received a marriage proposal from a Swedish courtier, Count Edelcrantz. Her letter on the subject seems very cool, but her stepmother assures us in the Augustus Hare Life and Letters that Maria loved him very much and did not get over the affair quickly. They came home to Ireland in 1803 on the eve of the resumption of the wars and Maria returned to writing. Tales of Fashionable Life, The Absentee and Ormond are novels of Irish life. Maria's work, "An Essay on the Noble Science of Self-Justification" (1795) is written for a female audience in which she convinces women that the fair sex is endowed with an art of self-justification and women should use their gifts to continually challenge the force and power of men, especially their husbands, with wit and intelligence. It humorously and satirically explores the feminine argumentative method. On a visit to London in 1813 Maria met Lord Byron (whom she didn't like) and Humphry Davy. She entered
Title: Early Lessons. A New edition, collected into one volume. [The Little Dog Trusty. The Cherry Orchard. The Orange Man. Frank. Rosamond. Harry and Lucy.]
Publisher: London, Longman Brown & Co: 1855
Item: 1.00 Item
Seller ID: 006372
Keywords: FICTION. NOVELS. VICTORIAN.