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The Absentee Paperback – 30 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: SMK Books (30 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617207519
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617207518
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 430,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849) was born in Oxfordshire and after being educated in England, she went to Edgeworthstown in Ireland to act as her father's assistant and governess to his many other children. With her father she wrote several educational books, and as a novelist she earned the praise of Sir Walter Scott.

Heidi Thomson is Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. In addition to her work on Edgeworth, she has written on Gray, Wordsworth and Keats.

Edited by Heidi Thomson and Kim Walker

With an introduction by Heidi Thomson

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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'Are you to be at Lady Clonbrony's gala next week?' said Lady Langdale to Mrs. Dareville, whilst they were waiting for their carriages in the crush-room of the opera house. Read the first page
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By Philip Sheppard on 20 Aug 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Started a little slowly. Never heard of author before but ended up with it a really enjoyable read. Well worth a read.
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This is Maria Edgeworth's other volume beside Castle Rackrent dealing with tenant and landlord relations in Ireland around 1800. Her father owned an estate and his daughter helped him to manage it. Both were concerned with what they regarded as the problems caused by absentee landlords. She was making a point that all landlords should reside on their estates and get to know their tenants personally. Many absentee landlords, then as now, were institutions like endowed colleges, charitable institutions and churches, where this would not be possible. Other landlord argued that a good estate manager who knew his business was better than a resident landlord who did not. Anyway, Miss Edgeworth was arguing her case.
As a novelist she was a contemporary of Jane Austen and like her commented on people's foibles. Definitely a book to buy
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Oct 2004
Format: Paperback
Maria Edgeworth in this novel points satirically at wealthy ladies who aspire to gain a foothold in London society. The means to their social advancement is through interior decor of a very exotic sort!
The style of writing is very pointed,and Edgeworth's voice can be heard behind the witty words. The novel has a meaning today ,with so much interest shown in interior and exterior design as a result of television programmes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Anglo-Irish Look at Ireland 9 July 2006
By Matthew Reznicek - Published on
Format: Paperback
Too often remembered solely as a British author, Maria Edgeworth's "The Absentee" provides a wonderful depiction of Ireland during the height of England's attempts to colonize Ireland through plantations. The historical problem with these estates was the often absence of the Lord. Edgeworth's novel reveals her Anglo-Irish stature. It depicts the Irish as either primitive and lacking ethics or as child-like and pure. Both of these reflect England's propaganda that was paired with the attempts at colonization.

Edgeworth's style reminds me very much of Jane Austen in that she focuses on the manners of the characters. In many ways, the characters resemble Austen's. The way Edgeworth depicts the individuals of Ireland, the way she represents the different class distinctions through the use of syntax and accents is deft. Edgeworth's novel is an invaluable tool for experiencing Ireland during its period of colonization. It combines the political, religious and economic aspects of Ireland. "The Absentee" demands an understanding of Irish history. It is a superb novel and highly enriching for anyone seeking a greater knowledge of Ireland.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The Prominent Son 12 Oct 2003
By P. Fan - Published on
Format: Paperback
Duty, Loyalty, and Honor is the foremost part on his mind for our hero, Lord Colambre. To resolve his parents financial troubles and follies in London, he venture back to his homeland, Ireland, in disguise to investigate the agents who are governing his father's estate. Witnessing the corruption but also the beauty, he determine to bring those corrupter to justice and hope to stay in Ireland. And of course, there is a romance, but as you all know the hero always get his girl.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Second tier classic 24 Nov 2012
By Judith - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm one of those readers who always has several books going at any time. One of those books is always a classic novel. This is especially true now that I have a Kindle and can get the classics free. I've read most of the better known titles, and I'm moving on to lesser known works, like The Absentee. This is the story of the Clonbrony family set in the early 19th century. Lord and Lady Clonbrony have estates in Ireland, but choose to live in London, where the socially ambitious Lady Clonbrony tries to work her way into the top tier of society. Meanwhile back in Ireland the estates are in disarray due to Clonbrony's absentee status. Between Lady Clonbrony's extravagant expenses to keep up with the elite and the dwindling income from the estates, the Clonbrony's are about to go under financially. When the Clonbrony's son Viscount Colambre graduates from Cambridge he learns of the family's embarrassed state and looks for a way to help his rather silly parents out of the jam. He embarks on a trip to Ireland to inspect the state of his father's estates, but he goes in disguise. He soon discovers what evils arise when a landowner leaves his business in the hands of incompetent or dishonest overseers. Back in London, Lady Cronbrony looks for an advantageous marriage partner for Colambre, even though he has his heart set on cousin Grace. Soon, a terrible secret emerges about Grace which ruins all chances for any suitable marriage. Rest assured our hero Colambre will fix that problem as well. Although the story is interesting, there are flaws in the writing. First, it's just a little too wordy, especially in the dialogue. I sometimes skimmed a bit to get to the point. Secondly, the characters are one dimensional. Colamabre is all noble and virtue. Others are all bad. No shades of gray. Third, the plot relies way too much on giant coincidences. Colambre just happens to be in the right place all the time; he happens to meet all the right people with information and connections he needs to solve his problems. At no time did I consider not finishing the book, but I won't choose to read another book by this author. Just okay.
Although she is no Jane Austen, Mrs. Edgeworth managed a pretty good tale. 12 Nov 2013
By Kay Adams - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story was appealing, but the style in which it was written was sometimes difficult to read. However, if you can immerse yourself into the times in which it was written, it is very entertaining. Mrs. Edgeworth is no Jane Austen, but the story was very good.
Historically interesting 30 Mar 2013
By Susan Haas - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good basic information about Irish absentee landlords in the early 19th Century. Well written, the story line is as believable as "regency romances" generally are.
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