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The Absentee (Penguin Classics)
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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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on 20 August 2013
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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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2004
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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