By Heidi Kaufman, Chris Fauske
In recent times, Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) has been the topic of accelerating curiosity. a girl, a member of the landholding elite, an educator, and a daughter who lived less than the historic shadow of her father, Edgeworth's existence is tough to categorize. satirically, the very points of Edgeworth's id that after excluded her from literary and ancient discussions now shape the foundation of present curiosity in her existence and her writing. This number of essays builds on current scholarship to advance new views approximately Edgeworth's position in English and Irish heritage, literary background, and women's background. those essays discover the ways that Edgeworth's complete grownup existence was once an try and reconcile the irreconcilable, an try and justify and protect her personal privileged place whilst she said the tenuousness of that place and as she sought to assert different privileges denied her.
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Additional info for An Uncomfortable Authority: Maria Edgeworth and Her Contexts
Wars caused by these Danes or English are then introduced with harsh landlords of the present day, along with high rents, taxes, tithes, insecurity of tenure, eviction, perhaps exile. R. L. Edgeworth maintained some contact during the 1790s with acquaintances in the United Irishmen movement through their common membership of the Royal Irish Academy. His paper to that body on the telegraph (1795) placed an emphasis on secrecy and encryption that was evidently considered suspicious by some of his neighbors in Co.
All distinctions of rank fade away before the eyes of a thoughtful person; he sees the same passions, the same feelings in the noble and the guttersnipe; there is merely a slight difference in speech, and more or less artificiality of tone . 12 Through this utopian dream of a restored, egalitarian humankind, he encourages liberals to become, for practical purposes, democrats and radicals. Equally telling, the Savoyard Vicar urges everyone to put aside authority, both secular and religious, and to identify the ‘‘active force’’ within, regardless of social status or gender: ‘‘It is not easy for a man to begin to think; but when once he has begun he will never leave off .
Why did the Edgeworths choose this episode to revive? Because, following the 1798 rising and the Act of Union, a new polemicist had appeared in Ireland, a near equivalent for modern times of Oates himself. Richard Musgrave, a former Irish MP from Munster and a violent anti-Catholic, wrote a polemical History of the Irish Rebellions of 1641, 1688 and 1798 (1801), in which he alleged that the blame for all these insurgencies rested with the Catholic masses and their priests. The Edgeworths take more than a leaf from Musgrave’s book.
An Uncomfortable Authority: Maria Edgeworth and Her Contexts by Heidi Kaufman, Chris Fauske