Castle Rackrent and Ennui
ISBN 9780140433203 | 368 pages | 05 Jan 1993 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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Stylish, sceptical, cosmopolitan, heir to Swift's fantasy and wit, Maria Edgeworth's fiction explores the relations of England and Ireland at a time of historical crisis. Castle Rackrent is Irish family history vividly and unreliably narrated by the loyal servant Thady, steward on the decaying Rackrent estates. In this comic tour-de-force Maria Edgeworth anticipates great themes of the European novel - colonialism, class, master-servant relationships, money, power and sexual inequality - but Castle Rackrent's true sequel is Ennui (1809). Beginning as the 'confessions' of an old-regime aristocrat, Lord Glenthorn's story takes him to Ireland, and impels him in a fable of bizarre transformations to play a reluctant part in Ireland's year of Revolution, 1798.'When Castle Rackrent and Ennui are paired, they read as perhaps the boldest, most innovative and most influential contribution to English language fiction by a woman writer before Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot.' - Marilyn Butler in the introduction.