Maria Edgeworth (1 January 1768 - 22 May 1849) was a prolific Anglo-Irish writer of adults' and children's literature. She was one of the first realist writers in children's literature and was a significant figure in the evolution of the novel in Europe. She held advanced views, for a woman of her time, on estate management, politics and education, and corresponded with some of the leading literary and economic writers, including Sir Walter Scott and David Ricardo. Early life: Maria Edgeworth was born at Black Bourton, Oxfordshire. She was the second child of Richard Lovell Edgeworth (who eventually fathered 22 children by four wives) and Anna Maria Edgeworth; Maria was thus an aunt of Francis Ysidro Edgeworth. She spent her early years with her mother's family in England, until her mother's death when Maria was five. When her father married his second wife Honora Sneyd in 1773, she went with him to his estate, Edgeworthstown, in County Longford, Ireland. Maria was sent to Mrs. Lattafière's school in Derby after Honora fell ill in 1775. After Honora died in 1780 Maria's father married Honora's sister Elizabeth (then socially disapproved and legally forbidden from 1833 until the Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act 1907). Maria transferred to Mrs. Devis's school in London. Her father's attention became fully focused on her in 1781 when she nearly lost her sight to an eye infection. Returning home at the age of 14, she took charge of her many younger siblings and was home-tutored in law, Irish economics and politics, science, and literature by her father. She also started her lifelong correspondences with learned men, mainly members of the Lunar Society. She became her father's assistant in managing the Edgeworthstown estate, which had become run-down during the family's 1777-1782 absence; she would live and write there for the rest of her life. With their bond strengthened, Maria and her father began a lifelong academic collaboration "of which she was the more able and nimble mind." Present at Edgeworthstown was an extended family, servants and tenants. She observed and recorded the details of daily Irish life, later drawing on this experience for her novels about the Irish. She also 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. Margaret supplied her with the novels of Anne Radcliffe and William Godwin and encouraged her in her writing. Though Maria Edgeworth spent most of her childhood in England, her life in Ireland had a profound impact on both her thinking and views surrounding her Irish culture. Fauske and Kaufman conclude, " used her fiction to address the inherent problems of acts delineated by religious, national, racial, class based, sexual, and gendered identities." Edgeworth used works such Castle Rackrent and Harrington to express her feelings on controversial issues............... Richard Lovell Edgeworth (31 May 1744 - 13 June 1817) was an Anglo-Irish politician, writer and inventor.Biography Edgeworth was born in Pierrepont Street, Bath, England, great-grandson of Sir Salathiel Lovell through his granddaughter, Jane Lovell. A Trinity College, Dublin and Oxford alumnus, he is credited for creating, among other inventions, a machine to measure the size of a plot of land. He also made strides in the developing educational methods. He anticipated the caterpillar track with an invention that he played around with for forty years but that he never successfully developed. He described it as a "cart that carries its own road". He was married four times, including both Honora Sneyd and Frances Beaufort, older sister of Francis Beaufort of the Royal Navy. The two men installed a telegraph line for Ireland. Richard Lovell Edgeworth was a member of the Lunar Society.....
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