Classic Readers: The Absenteeby Maria Edgeworth
Just before coming of age, Lord Colambre, the sensitive hero of the novel, finds that his mother Lady Clonbrony's attempts to buy her way
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The Absentee is a novel by Maria Edgeworth, published in 1812 in Tales of Fashionable Life, that expresses the systemic evils of the absentee landlord class of Anglo-Irish and the desperate condition of the Irish peasantry.
Just before coming of age, Lord Colambre, the sensitive hero of the novel, finds that his mother Lady Clonbrony's attempts to buy her way into the high society of London are only ridiculed, while his father, Lord Clonbrony, is in serious debt as a result of his wife's lifestyle. Colambre falls in love with his mother's companion, his supposed cousin, Grace Nugent.
Colambre travels incognito to Ireland to see the country that he still considers his home. Along the way he is briefly ensnared by a cold hearted adventuress who wants him to marry her daughter and who informs him that his beloved Grace is not Mr. Nugent's daughter at all, but rather an illegitimate child!
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