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Young Lord Colambre sees that Lady Clonbrony, his mother's ...
on 2 December 2015
Young Lord Colambre sees that Lady Clonbrony, his mother's attempts to get into London society are being ridiculed behind her back, and putting his father ever deeper into debt. He travels to Dublin then incognito onto his father's Irish estates which are being run by agents on behalf of the absentee landlord. The first estate he visits is well run by a kindly agent, but the second and largest is in ruin, in the hands of an unscrupulous villain who thinks nothing of putting the tenants' rent up so high they can't pay and are made homeless. Colambre returns home to persuade his parents to return to Ireland which he eventually manages to do, but not without the side plot of finding out that his supposed illegitimate cousin Grace Nugent, whom he loves, but convention won't allow him to marry, is in fact an heiress, legitimate and therefore perfectly acceptable. Written in 1812, Maria Edgeworth tells of the hardships endured by the Irish due to the absentee landlords who seem to care nothing for their estates apart from the money made from them. Very much of its time, it is a heartwarming story. Compared to her other novel on this subject. Castle Rackrent, it is a much more readable and enjoyable tale.