Biography Of Maria Edgeworth 's Ennui Essay

1191 Words Oct 17th, 2016 5 Pages
Maria Edgeworth’s Ennui, when published in 1809 was meant to be a didactic tale, a moral piece of literature meant to entertain it’s decidedly English readers. However, as seen throughout the course of history, politics and comedy often go hand in hand. Edgeworth uses this idea to make some very interesting commentary about the state of the relationship between Britain and Ireland at the time, and what it meant to be truly British or Irish. Within the novel we meet the character of young Lord Glenthorn, who is bored of his rich and extravagant life, and no longer takes any interest in the fortunes in his possession. We learn shortly that the only reason he does not end his own life, is that he want to make things right with the one person who he feels still cares for him, his Irish childhood nurse Elinor. Because of this, and a accident where Glenthorn is asked to deliver the positions of a young dead Irish boxer, he sets off on a journey across Ireland. This book shows Ireland right at the beginning of the modern period through the eyes of the British. At the turn of the 19th century, the two main settings in this book are highly contrasting, one the one hand we have the great splendor of Glenthorn’s palace, and on the other we have the rural landscape of Ireland still in shambles from the 1798 Irish Rebellion. As this novel is told through the point of view of a very wealthy English man, his statements that “it was in vain to attempt to improve and civilize such people…

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