Maria Edgeworth (1 January 1767 – 22 May 1849) was an Anglo-Irish novelist.
Maria Edgeworth was born at Black Bourton, Oxfordshire, the second child of Richard Lovell Edgeworth and Anna Maria Edgeworth nee Elers. On her father's second marriage in 1773, she went with him to Ireland, where she eventually was to settle on his estate, Edgeworthstown, in County Longford. There, she mixed with the Anglo-Irish gentry, particularly Kitty Pakenham (later the wife of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington), Lady Moira, and her aunt Margaret Ruston of Black Castle. She acted as manager of her father's estate, later drawing on this experience for her novels about the Irish. Edgeworth's early literary efforts were melodramatic rather than realistic. One of her schoolgirl novels features a villain who wore a mask made from the skin of a dead man's face. Maria's first published work was Letters for Literary Ladies in 1795, followed in 1796 by her first children's book, The Parent's Assistant, and in 1800 by her first novel Castle Rackrent.
Read Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth, free from Project Gutenberg.