Today - - the 1st of January 2018 - is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Maria Edgeworth. Daughter of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Maria was heavily influenced by her father. She was an enlightenment intellectual, writer and moralist, she was acutely aware of the responsibilities of her class and supported her father throughout his life in affecting the improvement of the Edgeworth Estate to the benefit of the local community. Internationally renowned, Maria is best remembered for her Irish Novels, especially Castle Rackrent 1800 and her Children's Moral Tales and the Parents Assistant published in 1796. After her father's death in 1817 Maria devoted her time to the completion of his memoirs until their publication in 1820. Throughout the 1830's and 1840's Maria worked tirelessly to manage the family estate and support the local tenants throwing all her energies into aiding those most affected by the Famine. Her last book, one for children Orlandino appeared in 1848. Maria died on the 22nd May 1849.
The Edgeworth Society are staging a number of events during 2018 to mark the occasion of Maria's birthday. For the day itself what better way to celebrate the birthday than by reading one of Maria's stories aptly entitled 'The Birthday Present'
The story begins like this -
The Birthday Present
"Mamma," said Rosamond, after a long silence, "do you know what I have been thinking of all this time?"
"No, my dear.--What?"
"Why, mamma, about my cousin Bell's birthday; do you know what day it is?"
"No, I don't remember."
"Dear mother! don't you remember it's the 22nd of December; and her birthday is the day after to-morrow? Don't you recollect now? But you never remember about birthdays, mamma. That was just what I was thinking of, that you never remember my sister Laura's birthday, or-or-or MINE, mamma."
For more on Maria from The Literature Network - visit this link
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