Maria Edgeworth: Biography

Maria Edgeworth

01 jan 1768

Maria Edgeworth was a popular Irish novelist who was compared to some of the great authors of her time such as Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott. Maria Edgeworth was one of the favourite authors of Jane Austen and she was earning more than her contemporary writers.

Born on Jan 1, 1768 at Black Bourton, Oxfordshire, Maria started to take care of her siblings right from the age of 14. Maria Edgeworth received good education at home. She was taught Law, Irish Economics, politics, science and literature by her father. Maria had regular contacts with scholars mainly members of the Lunar Society.

Maria assisted her father in managing the Edgeworth’s town estate and she also started writing. Maria wrote adults and children’s literature. She was considered one of the first realist writers in children’s literature and an icon in the evolution of the novel in Europe. Maria’s thoughts and vision were far intellectual compared to other women of her period.

Maria Edgeworth’s novels are always unique. She has a different perspective with her characters and that reflects in all her works. Tales of Fashionable Life, The Absentee and Ormand are few of her novels specifying Irish life.

Maria strongly believed that education is the key to both individual and national improvement. Maria dedicated her life to writing and improving the living conditions of the poor people of Edgeworth’s town. She provided schools for children of lower section of society. Because of her activist nature, William Rowan Hamilton, the President of the Royal Irish Academy made Maria Edgeworth an honorary member of the Academy to guide him.