This volume contains Edgeworth's best courtship novel belinda, which replaces mercenary fortune-hunting with a deeper quest for marital compatibility, valorising irrationality and love over reason and duty. MARIA EDGEWORTH was born in 1768. Her first novel, Castle Rackrent (1800) was also her first Irish tale. The next such tale was Ennui (1809), after which came The Absentee, which began life as an unstaged play and was then published (in prose) in Tales of Fashionable Life (1812), as were several of her other stories. They were followed in 1817 by the last of her Irish tales, Ormond. Maria Edgeworth died in 1849. Edited with an introduction and notes by Marilyn Butler.
Introduction, 1. Belinda