Firstly, I must point out that the 5 stars are for the story, not this edition. As another reviewer has pointed out, there are typos aplenty. Also, it would have been nice to have notes on the text throughout - while the French is translated, there are references to things which were unfamiliar to me as a modern reader. It would have been nice to have various things explained. On the other hand, kudos to them for bringing this wonderful novel back into print.
I cannot believe that this is the first 5* review - I thought this was a fascinating and beautifully written novel. Parts were literally laugh-out-loud hilarious (apologies for the cliché). The characters were well-drawn, all with believable faults but likeable nonetheless. The story itself is so original - far more sophisticated than the plots of various other novels of the era. It's quite psychological - I found myself wondering what on earth I would do if I were in the place of Helen, the protagonist. It's also fun to look for similarities to Jane Austen, whom Maria Edgeworth influenced heavily. I was interested to read the rather stern but kind-hearted Clarendon say that once his mind was made up, he rarely changed it; rather similar to Mr Darcy's claim that his good opinion once lost is lost forever, I thought!
I can't recommend this book highly enough - if you love Jane Austen, I'm almost certain you'll love this.