[Read] ➼ The Absentee ➹ Maria Edgeworth – Thomashillier.co.uk

The Absentee Lord And Lady Clonbrony Are Concerned With Fashionable London Society Than With Their Responsibilities To Those Who Live And Work On Their Irish Estates Concerned By This Negligence, Their Son Lord Colambre Goes Incognito To Ireland To Observe The Situation And To Discover The Truth About The Origins Of His Beloved Cousin Grace Can He Find A Solution That Will Bring Prosperity And Contentment To Every Level Of Society, Including His Own Family Rich In Atmosphere And Local Character, The Absentee Helped Establish The Regional Novel Form, Which Influenced Such Varied Writers As Scott, Thackeray And Turgenev In This Sparkling Satire On Anglo Irish Relations, Maria Edgeworth Created A Landmark Work Of Morality And Social Realism


10 thoughts on “The Absentee

  1. says:

    Lady Clonbrony, determined to be accepted by fashionable London society, has sunk her family into debt to the moneylender, Mordecai She wants her son to make a good marriage, but his affections are not to be bought.Stars Stephen Rea as Lord Colambre, Anna Healy as Grace Nugent, TP McKenna as Lord Clonbrony Francine Mulrooney as Lady Clonbrony and Ben Onwukwe as WhippLady Clonbrony, determined to be accepted by fashionable London society, has sunk her family into debt to the moneylender, Mordecai She wants her son to make a good marriage, but his affections are not to be bought.Stars Stephen Rea as Lord Colambre, Anna Healy as Grace Nugent, TP McKenna as Lord Clonbrony Francine Mulrooney as Lady Clonbrony and Ben Onwukwe as Whipp


  2. says:

    The Absentee is a novel by Maria Edgeworth, published in 1812 in Tales of Fashionable Life. From what I ve read of the author Maria Edgeworth, she was a prolific writer of both adults and children s literature She held advanced views, for a woman of her time, on estate management, which is what the book is about politics and education, and corresponded with some of the leading literary and economic writers, including Sir Walter Scott and David Ricardo When I read that she corresponded with The Absentee is a novel by Maria Edgeworth, published in 1812 in Tales of Fashionable Life. From what I ve read of the author Maria Edgeworth, she was a prolific writer of both adults and children s literature She held advanced views, for a woman of her time, on estate management, which is what the book is about politics and education, and corresponded with some of the leading literary and economic writers, including Sir Walter Scott and David Ricardo When I read that she corresponded with Scott and David Ricardo, I had two thoughts The first was I wondered if people who knew Scott back when he was writing would tell him how wonderful his books were or would they tell him they can t make heads or tails out of what the characters in his novels are saying written in such a strong Scottish dialect Lines like this are still in my headOur folk had tirled the dead dragoons as bare as bawbees before we were loose amaist But when I saw the Whigs a weel yokit by the lugs to Then sic a flyting as there wad be between them, a about Whig and Tory, continued Jenny To be sure, said Cuddie, the auld leddy s unto kittle in thae points And as for my other questionDavid Ricardo 18 April 1772 11 September 1823 was an English political economist He was one of the most influential of the classical economists, along with Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith, and James Mill Sounds awful Anyway, it is Maria Edgeworth who wrote , The Absentee so it is to Maria and her book I will return to There are a few things I learned about our author while reading her book that I found interesting, and odd The first is about her fatherMaria Edgeworth was born at Black Bourton, Oxfordshire She was the second child of Richard Lovell Edgeworth who eventually fathered 22 children by four wives and Anna Maria Edgeworth n e Elers Maria was thus an aunt of Francis Ysidro Edgeworth whoever that isShe spent her early years with her mother s family in England, until her mother s death when Maria was five When her father married his second wife Honora Sneyd in 1773, she went with him to his estate, Edgeworthstown, in County Longford, Ireland.Maria was sent to Mrs Lattafi re s school in Derby after Honora fell ill in 1775 After Honora died in 1780 Maria s father married Honora s sister Elizabeth then socially disapproved and legally forbidden from 1833 until the Deceased Wife s Sister s Marriage Act 1907.Not only did her father have 22 children, but he managed to support them all I guess since it doesn t say they starved to death , and kept getting women to marry him each knowing how many children he had which would grow with each wife he had I m not sure I could survive being a step mother to twenty children Another thing I learned and puzzled over isIn 1802 the Edgeworths toured the English midlands They then travelled to the continent, first to Brussels and then to Consulate France during the Peace of Amiens, a brief lull in the Napoleonic Wars They met all the notables, and Maria received a marriage proposal from a Swedish courtier, Count Edelcrantz Her letter on the subject seems very cool, but her stepmother assures us in the Augustus Hare Life and Letters that Maria loved him very much and did not get over the affair quickly Well, if she loved him and he loved her why didn t she marry him He did ask her Oh well, it seems she didn t marry him and they returned to Ireland in 1803 And now on to our story The story ofTHE ABSENTEE is a very simple one, it is about Irish landlords living in England, that s mostly what it s about anyway For some reason all the Irish landowners, the nobility of the country get the idea that London is the place to be if you want to be part of high society, I don t know why, so off to England everybody goes Everybody who owned property that is They leave their estates in the hands of agents or stewards and off they go never to be seen again Well, not for a while anyway Some of these agents and stewards are very good men taking very good care of the property and the people living there Others, however, are not doing a very good job with what they have been given, they are doing the exact opposite, letting the people live in poverty, letting the land go wild again, the buildings are run down and not even safe to live in, although people still do, on and on, and the owners, even if they would care, aren t there to see it They are living in high society in London And this is exactly who are main characters are and what they are doing, the Clonbrony family, Lord, Lady, and their son, our main character, Lord Colambre I can t remember his first name which is odd, you d think his being the main character I would be able to remember his full name, but I can t There is also Grace Nugent, cousin to Lord Colambre, she lives with the Clonbrony family ever since her parents died, of what I don t remember Lord Clonbrony does care about his land and his people, but he isn t brave enough to take his family back to Ireland, his wife refuses to leave her position in London society And Lord Colambre cares, but his parents refuse to return to Ireland, and besides all that, they don t really know how bad things are because Lord Clonbrony has complete faith in his steward As the book opens we find that Colambre has just returned home, he had been away from school, and it doesn t take him long to find out how deep in debt his father is Living in London and keeping up appearances has put him into so much debt he knows that any day the bill collectors could be knocking at the door and they would be thrown out of their London mansion Lady Clonbrony refuses to hear how bad things are, she won t listen to a word her husband or son say on the subject She does know they are in serious trouble though, for she has arranged a marriage between Colambre and a wealthy heiress Miss Broadhurst who has money but no title, while Colambre has a title but no money You can probably see where this is going, at least in the beginning of the novel, for Colambre ends up in Ireland under a false name going among the people and finding out the true condition of their estate he hasn t seen since he was a child He is alone when he is there, no Miss Broadhurst in sight, so he hasn t married her yet.One of the things that bothered me and had me wanting to go into the book and give one of our main characters a piece of my mind is when he falls in love with the perfect girl He will do anything for her, she is beautiful, her voice is beautiful, she is kind, good, all that stuff, until he finds out that her father and mother weren t married something the love of his life doesn t even know Now, of course he still loves her, but he can t marry her, and is glad he never made his feelings known, for after all, her parents weren t married I would have been yelling at him if he were here My parents weren t married when I was born, they weren t married until a few years later and I never knew it Not until I was 18 years old, give or take a year, and my aunt felt I needed to know the truth about my parents and I should try to not hate them when I know the truth My mother is in tears while I m wondering if my parents are really bank robbers or some such thing, and I m told they weren t married when I was born I think I disappointed my aunt because I said then the same thing I say now, Who Cares Anyway, that s most of what the book is about, landowners leaving their lands, spending all their time and money in London, stewards, agents, Lords and Ladies, and a couple of love stories thrown in Overall I liked the book and definitely would read it again, except see, there s always a problem with me , the way words are sometimes in all capital letters with no reason or pattern I can follow, here are a few examplesA party of superlative fashionables, who had promised TO LOOK IN UPON HER, but who, late as it was, had not yet arrived Lady Clonbrony was so astonished by this impudence of ingratitude, that she hesitated how to TAKE IT but Miss Nugent, quite coolly, and with a smile, answered, A DAY certainly to you, who gave us a month Miss Nugent had seen him always in large companies, where he was admired for his SCAVOIR VIVRE Mr Berryl s education, disposition, and tastes, fitted him exactly for the station which he was destined to fill in society that of a COUNTRY GENTLEMAN It had occurred to her ladyship that for Miss Somebody, THE COMPANION, of whom she had never in her life thought before, she had omitted to leave a card last time No general officer could talk of his victories, or fight his battles o er again, withcomplacency than Sir Terence O Fay recounted his CIVIL exploits She spoke of HER PRIVATE BELIEF of THE IMPRESSION LEFT UPON HER MIND and her CONFIDANTIAL reasons for thinking as she did of her having had it from the FOUNTAIN S head and of her fear of any COMMITTAL of her authorities he saw it long and long before the Union, when FIRST he drank claret at the fashionable clubs He will OBLIGE you, but he will not obey you he will do you a favour, but he will not do you JUSTICE he will do ANYTHING TO SERVE YOU, but the particular thing you order he neglects he asks your pardon, for he would not, for all the goods in his warehouse, DISOBLIGE you not for the sake of your custom, but he has a particular regard for your family Upon some occasion, one of her friends VENTURED to fear that something she had said was TOO STRONG You get the idea I tried reading it out loud saying the uppercase letters loud, but I thought it sounded silly Anyway, I am done, I think, and I m ready to move on to the next book Well, I m probably moving on to cleaning the house, a group from our church meets here tonight Happy reading, without the uppercase letters, it s 4 stars, 3 1 2 with


  3. says:

    My edition was printed around 1900, which I don t see listed in Goodreads, but that s okay.This novel was part of a longer collection, printed during the Regency period It centers around an Irish family of title, the parents having come to England to be part of the Season Edgeworth takes down the phoniness of high society with as much energy and verve as Cruikshank and the other satirical illustrators did.Lord Columbre, their son and our hero, doesn t change so much as act as catalyst He is d My edition was printed around 1900, which I don t see listed in Goodreads, but that s okay.This novel was part of a longer collection, printed during the Regency period It centers around an Irish family of title, the parents having come to England to be part of the Season Edgeworth takes down the phoniness of high society with as much energy and verve as Cruikshank and the other satirical illustrators did.Lord Columbre, their son and our hero, doesn t change so much as act as catalyst He is disgusted by falsity in society, and in his mother, and he s horrified to discover that his father has been wasting the family s fortune on his mother s wish to buy her way into acceptance by the beau monde.He ends up returning to Ireland and traveling around incognito to see for himself how the family lands are handled, with a sidestep in being almost lured in by a monster mama and her conniving daughter.The best scenes, by far, are the ones among the ordinary Irish folk Some of the high society scenes are sarcastically humorous But the book is packed with long, somewhat tedious preachments at the reader who might have missed the point in other reading I discovered that Edgeworth s father saw fit to edit, and add to, his daughter s fiction as he thought it needed The result were these didactic data dumps to really hammer home the point.Other warnings for the modern reader the careless and unexamined anti semitism really stands out next to the sympathy for the Irish peasantry, and Lord Columbre s insufferable middle class attitude toward his beloved when he thinks she might be base born, but when it turns out the father did manage to marry the teenager he winnowed away from her home, got pregnant, and then died on, and further, she s in for a smacking big fortune, well, suddenly it s okay for him to marry her, though she s good as gold and blameless all the way through, the way proper heroines of the time were supposed to be.Still, one can see why Edgeworth was so popular and the look into the Irish life of the time is fascinating


  4. says:

    Free download available at Project Gutenberg.NOTES ON THE ABSENTEE In August 1811, we are told, she wrote a little play about landlords and tenants for the children of her sister, Mrs Beddoes Mr Edgeworth tried to get the play produced on the London boards Writing to her aunt, Mrs Ruxton, Maria says, Sheridan has answered as I foresaw he must, that in the present state of this country the Lord Chamberlain would not license THE ABSENTEE besides there would be a difficulty in finding actor Free download available at Project Gutenberg.NOTES ON THE ABSENTEE In August 1811, we are told, she wrote a little play about landlords and tenants for the children of her sister, Mrs Beddoes Mr Edgeworth tried to get the play produced on the London boards Writing to her aunt, Mrs Ruxton, Maria says, Sheridan has answered as I foresaw he must, that in the present state of this country the Lord Chamberlain would not license THE ABSENTEE besides there would be a difficulty in finding actors for so many Irish characters The little drama was then turned into a story, by Mr Edgeworth s advice Patronage was laid aside for the moment, and THE ABSENTEE appeared in its place in the second part of TALES OF FASHIONABLE LIFE We all know Lord Macaulay s verdict upon this favourite story of his, the last scene of which he specially admired and compared to the ODYSSEY Lord Macaulay was not the only notable admirer of THE ABSENTEE The present writer remembers hearing Professor Ruskin on one occasion break out in praise and admiration of the book You can learnby reading it of Irish politics, he said, than from a thousand columns out of blue books Mrs Edgeworth tells us that much of it was written while Maria was suffering a misery of toothache


  5. says:

    Here s a great little volume written by one of Jane Austen s contemporaries, a prolific author for whom Austen herself had much admiration If the novel s subject matter the social impact of absentee landlords on rural Ireland gives you pause, then fret not I too worried that I would not be able to follow such a specific and now forgotten social issue, but that proved not to be the case at all Indeed, Edgeworth assumes zero knowledge on the part of the reader, weaving her subject into an Here s a great little volume written by one of Jane Austen s contemporaries, a prolific author for whom Austen herself had much admiration If the novel s subject matter the social impact of absentee landlords on rural Ireland gives you pause, then fret not I too worried that I would not be able to follow such a specific and now forgotten social issue, but that proved not to be the case at all Indeed, Edgeworth assumes zero knowledge on the part of the reader, weaving her subject into an engaging story line Above all else, The Absentee is a social polemic taking on the guise of a genteel comedy It bears many of the same charms and flaws as the work of Miss Austen herself In order for this story to work, the characters need to be wholly one dimensional they are and countless coincidences need to take place they do Still, if you give yourself up to it, you will find these pages moving faster than a carriage on an open roadway The prose is delightful, the depictions of Ireland engrossing, and the social commentary dead on Whatcould a person want from a book


  6. says:

    I enjoyed this very much The main story is simple enough Heir on the verge of inheritance travels to his native Ireland incognito and witnesses the abuse of his tenants at the hands of the steward Since the steward is also duping his father out of funds and lands, the young man must rush home to save the day Plus, a little romance I felt the romance to be less successful, but the rest of the book was delightful The opening scenes in London with his mother and the snobs of the ton were bril I enjoyed this very much The main story is simple enough Heir on the verge of inheritance travels to his native Ireland incognito and witnesses the abuse of his tenants at the hands of the steward Since the steward is also duping his father out of funds and lands, the young man must rush home to save the day Plus, a little romance I felt the romance to be less successful, but the rest of the book was delightful The opening scenes in London with his mother and the snobs of the ton were brilliant And I especially loved the sections about Ireland


  7. says:

    Full Review Edgeworth was a popular author in the early 19th century that has almost been forgotten today I never heard of her before I saw this Penguin edition at the used book store Intrigued by a story focusing on the Anglo Irish aspect of Regency life and bought it Plus, I liked the cover.Edgeworth did not like novels, she thought they were frivolous, and instead called her stories moral tales While she does dealdirectly with the lower class than Aust Full Review Edgeworth was a popular author in the early 19th century that has almost been forgotten today I never heard of her before I saw this Penguin edition at the used book store Intrigued by a story focusing on the Anglo Irish aspect of Regency life and bought it Plus, I liked the cover.Edgeworth did not like novels, she thought they were frivolous, and instead called her stories moral tales While she does dealdirectly with the lower class than Austen did, The Abesntee shares many characteristics of Austen s best novels honorable children with weak, fault filled parents, a personal journey of growth through learning for the main character, a romance, characters with extreme prejudices Edgeworth main theme of The Absentee, that Anglo Irish landowners should be resident stewards of their estates and not leave the managing to agents while the owners live in London, is admirable but she never delves into the Anglo Irish question or the religious differences that permeated Ireland So, while there is a moral to the novel, it is a very one sided ideal and as such, weakens the point Especially when seen 200 years on.Edgeworth was a skilled writer that created some of the most uncomfortable scenes and situations I ve read in a long time She skewered not only the vacuous attempts of an Anglo Irish gentlewoman to be admitted into London society, a society that would never accept her no matter what she did, but she also lambasted the haughty, condescending, cruel and pettiness of those same society ladies Only a few characters are safe from Edgeworth s wrath and those characters border on being a little too perfect There were a few too many coincidences to be believable but, unlike real life, plots hinge on coincidental acquaintances Part romance and part adventure, The Absentee would be an enjoyable read for any fan of Regency literature


  8. says:

    You have to love Maria Edgeworth Ok, you don t have to, but I do She s definitely leading the running for Most Middle Class Novelist Ever, but in a good way It s amazing how reassuring it is to know that, in addition to true love conquering all, the lovers are going to turn out to be rational beings who enjoy reading, thinking, and learning, and who avoid the temptations to gambling, living beyond their means, and bad estate management.If you love Wuthering Heights, you sure won t love The Ab You have to love Maria Edgeworth Ok, you don t have to, but I do She s definitely leading the running for Most Middle Class Novelist Ever, but in a good way It s amazing how reassuring it is to know that, in addition to true love conquering all, the lovers are going to turn out to be rational beings who enjoy reading, thinking, and learning, and who avoid the temptations to gambling, living beyond their means, and bad estate management.If you love Wuthering Heights, you sure won t love The Absentee, at least not for the same reasons But you will learn a lot about how the middle class wrote itself into existence as an identity, and you can also see one Anglo Irish writer s rampagingly colonial take on how English Irish identities should get hashed out


  9. says:

    6 MAY 2016 recommendation through Bettie Thank you Download at Project Gutenberg MAY 2016 BBC Radio 4 Extra today 6 MAY 2016 recommendation through Bettie Thank you Download at Project Gutenberg MAY 2016 BBC Radio 4 Extra today


  10. says:

    I read The Absentee as research so I m not really in a position to comment on how the book ranks as entertainment That said, I enjoyed this tale of absentee landlords, unscrupulous agents, scurrilous businessmen, stained reputations and rather improbable coincidences This is an honestly political book and Maria Edgeworth makes her views of absenteeism absolutely plain It is a landlord s duty, she suggests, to guide their simple tenants to a virtuous and industrious existence and not to beggar I read The Absentee as research so I m not really in a position to comment on how the book ranks as entertainment That said, I enjoyed this tale of absentee landlords, unscrupulous agents, scurrilous businessmen, stained reputations and rather improbable coincidences This is an honestly political book and Maria Edgeworth makes her views of absenteeism absolutely plain It is a landlord s duty, she suggests, to guide their simple tenants to a virtuous and industrious existence and not to beggar their land by extravagant living away from home It s a thesis that s hard to argue with and there s no doubt that Edgeworth herself practised what she preached but sometimes the broad strokes of her argument are a little hard to take Her descriptions of the excesses of the Anglo Irish community read uncomfortably close to the similarly extravagant behaviour of the Celtic Tiger years It s depressing to realise that in some ways not a lot has changed in two hundred years.Edgeworth writes from within her class She was one of the ascendancy class herself and stops far short of encouraging anything approaching a revolution The best way forward in her opinion is for landlords to tend their estates responsibly and through example to inspire their faithful tenants It s not an argument that sits well with modern independent Ireland but her portrait of Ireland and the Irish is undoubtedly affectionate and she has obviously observed her subject well With her earlier book Castle Rackrent, she is credited with inventing the regional novel and is known to have influenced writers as diverse as Walter Scott, Ivan Turgenev and Jane Austen She was certainly one of the earliest writers to employ social realism and for the most part writes an unsentimental account of life in early 19th century Ireland The only sour note in the book is the character of Mordecai the coach maker He s painted as a scheming, avaricious jew and this sparkling piece of anti Semitism was rightly picked up soon after the book s publication Edgeworth received a letter from an American Jewish woman Rachel Mordecai complaining about her depiction of a Jewish character In fairness, Edgeworth was so struck by their correspondence that she wrote the novel Harrington as an apology to the Jewish community But that knowledge doesn t help much when reading The Absentee.All in all The Absentee is a good read but it s worth a look just for the historical perspective Fascinating