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About the Author
Although born in England in 1768, Maria Edgeworth was raised in Ireland from a young age after the death of her mother. After nearly losing her sight at age fourteen, Edgeworth was tutored at home by her father, helping to run their estate and taking charge of her younger siblings. Over the course of her life she collaborated and published books with her father, and produced many more of her own adult and children s works, including such classics as Castle Rackrent, Patronage, Belinda, Ormond and The Absentee. Edgeworth spent her entire life on the family estate, but kept up friendships and correspondences with her contemporaries Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron, and her writing had a profound influence upon Jane Austen and William Makepeace Thackeray. Edgeworth was outspoken on the issues of poverty, women s rights, and racial inequalities. During the beginnings of famine in Ireland, Edgeworth worked in relief and support of the sick and destitute. She died in 1849 at the age of 81.
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