Maria Edgeworth

Maria Edgeworth

English (Irish) writer, essayist, publicist.
Date of Birth: 01.01.1767
Country: Great Britain

  1. Biography of Maria Edgeworth
  2. Early Career
  3. Great Famine Relief Efforts
  4. Legacy

Biography of Maria Edgeworth

Maria Edgeworth, an English (Irish) writer, essayist, and publicist, was born on January 1, 1767, in Black Bourton, Oxfordshire, and passed away on May 22, 1849, in Edgeworthstown, Longford. She was the daughter of a wealthy Irish landowner, writer, and inventor who was a political radical.

Early Career

Edgeworth made her debut with "Letters to Literary Ladies" in 1795, advocating for women's right to education. This was followed by a joint work with her father, a treatise titled "Practical Education" (1798). In 1802-1803, she traveled with her family to Belgium and France. In 1813, she met Byron in London and spent a significant part of her life in Ireland. Her father passed away in 1817, and Edgeworth completed and published his memoirs in 1820 (2 volumes).

Great Famine Relief Efforts

During the Great Famine in Ireland, Edgeworth actively helped the poor. Her novel "Castle Rackrent" (1800) was the first historical and regional novel in Europe and the first of its kind in Britain. It received high praise from Walter Scott, with whom Edgeworth corresponded for many years and visited at his Scottish estate, Abbotsford. She also wrote several novels about contemporary English society, such as "Belinda" (1801) and "Helen" (1806), as well as moralistic stories for children, including "Moral Tales" (1801).


Maria Edgeworth's works had a significant impact on English and Irish literature. She is remembered as an influential writer who championed women's education and wrote insightful novels that shed light on society's issues. Her dedication to helping the poor during the Great Famine showcases her compassion and social consciousness.