An Uncomfortable Authority: Maria Edgeworth and Her Contexts by Heidi Kaufman, Chris Fauske

By Heidi Kaufman, Chris Fauske

Lately, 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 old shadow of her father, Edgeworth's lifestyles is hard to categorize. satirically, the very points of Edgeworth's identification that when excluded her from literary and old discussions now shape the foundation of present curiosity in her lifestyles and her writing. This choice of essays builds on latest scholarship to strengthen new views approximately Edgeworth's position in English and Irish heritage, literary heritage, and women's background. those essays discover the ways that Edgeworth's complete grownup lifestyles used to be an try to reconcile the irreconcilable, an try to justify and look after her personal privileged place whilst she said the tenuousness of that place and as she sought to say different privileges denied her.

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Gracey Nugent,’’ though sung to the tune of ‘‘The British Grenadiers,’’ had strong Jacobite associations. The Nugents were an eminent Catholic military family; and Tyrconnell’s brother, Peter, was the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin. 33 Grace’s names all have Gaelic and Catholic resonance, going back to Grainne. Her mother’s maiden name is symbolic, Miss St Omer: this was the name of the French seminary where many Irish Catholic boys, especially those intended for the priesthood, were educated.

34 George Nugent Reynolds died suddenly in 1801 at Stowe, the great house and garden which was then the home of a Nugent scion, Robert, Earl of Buckinghamshire. ’’ There is a curious little episode in Patronage between the two sisters of the Percy family, Rosamund and Caroline, in which both nominate a favorite national song. ’’ The sisters speak as though Campbell wrote both poems, although two years earlier, as she worked on The Absentee, Maria Edgeworth was plainly ascribing the earlier version to George Nugent Reynolds.

It seems easiest to think of all three as different realizations of a medieval conception, the Sovereignty Queen. According to medieval records, referred to in preliminary chapters of Catholic histories of Ireland, such as Sylvester O’Halloran’s and Francis Plowden’s, when a male claimant for chieftainship or more likely kingship appeared, a ritual was invoked for which there is documentary evidence. The mortal claimant’s election or coronation took the form of his symbolic marriage with a supernatural woman representing the land to be ruled.

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