An Uncomfortable Authority: Maria Edgeworth and Her Contexts

Overview

In recent years, Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) has been the subject of increasing interest. A woman, a member of the landholding elite, an educator, and a daughter who lived under the historical shadow of her father, Edgeworth's life is difficult to categorize. Ironically, the very aspects of Edgeworth's identity that once excluded her from literary and historical discussions now form the basis of current interest in her life and her writing. This collection of essays builds on existing scholarship to develop new ...

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Overview

In recent years, Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) has been the subject of increasing interest. A woman, a member of the landholding elite, an educator, and a daughter who lived under the historical shadow of her father, Edgeworth's life is difficult to categorize. Ironically, the very aspects of Edgeworth's identity that once excluded her from literary and historical discussions now form the basis of current interest in her life and her writing. This collection of essays builds on existing scholarship to develop new perspectives about Edgeworth's place in English and Irish history, literary history, and women's history. These essays explore the ways in which Edgeworth's entire adult life was an attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable, an attempt to justify and preserve her own privileged position even as she acknowledged the tenuousness of that position and as she sought to claim other privileges denied her.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611492590
  • Publisher: University of Delaware Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2004
  • Pages: 303
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Fauske is the assistant dean in the School of Arts & Science at Salem State College. Heidi Kaufman is associate professor of English at the University of Delaware.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 11
Edgeworth, the United Irishmen, and "more intelligent treason" 33
History and utopia in Ormond 62
The keener's cry in Castle Rackrent : the death of Irish culture? 84
"Le vrai n'est pas toujours vraisemblable" : the evaluation of realism in Edgeworth's Irish tales 105
"Distorted nature in a fever" : Irish bulls, Irish novels, the 1798 rebellion, and their Gothic contexts 127
National character and foreclosed Irishness : a reconsideration of ennui 146
"The fashion not to be an absentee" : fashion and moral authority in Edgeworth's tales 165
"Games of chance" : Belinda, education, and empire 192
Control experiment : Edgeworth's critique of Rousseau's educational theory 212
Harrington and anti-Semitism : Mendelssohn's invisible agency 235
A Whillaluh for Ireland : Castle Rackrent and Edgeworth's influence on Sir Walter Scott 250
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