Maria Edgeworth’s Letters From Ireland


Valerie Pakenham

Regular price €39.95

January 1 2018 will be the 250th anniversary of Maria Edgeworth’s birth. Valerie Pakenham’s sparkling new selection of over four hundred letters, many hitherto unpublished, will help to celebrate her memory. Born in England, she was brought to live in Ireland at the age of fourteen and spent most of the rest of her life at the family home at Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford. Encouraged by her remarkable father, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, whose memoirs she edited, she became, in turn, famous for her children’s stories, her practical guides to education and her novels – or, as she preferred to call them, ‘Moral Tales’. By 1813, when visiting London, she was, as Byron testified, as great a literary lion as he had been the season before, and she was hugely admired by fellow novelists Sir Walter Scott and Jane Austen.

Valerie Pakenham worked as a journalist in London at Condé Nast and the Daily Mail before her marriage to the writer Thomas Pakenham. Her most recent book is The Big House in Ireland, an anthology published in 2001. She has lived in Westmeath, fourteen miles from Maria Edgeworth’s old family home in Edgeworthstown, for over fifty years and is familiar with many of the places described in these letters. The Pakenham and Edgeworth families intermarried in the early eighteenth century and were close friends across several generations.

Hardback.

Lilliput Press (2017)