Maria Edgeworth and romance
The work of Maria Edgeworth has always attracted interest, but little attention has been paid to her extraordinary recognition of the power of imagination, a force which she and her contemporaries particularly associated with the romance, rather than the realistic, mode. Drawing widely upon her lesser-known educational treatises and literature for children and adolescents as well as her more celebrated tales and novels, Sharon Murphy explores this aspect of Edgeworth’s writing.
The book also offers a reassessment of the literary consequences of Edgeworth’s relationship with her father, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, and illustrates why her use of romance must be understood in terms of the greater familial and colonial romance that informs all of her writing.
Sharon Murphy is a graduate of University College Dublin and Trinity college Dublin. She currently lectures in the School of English, TCD.