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INTRODUCTION Maria Edgeworth came of a lively family which had settled in Ireland in the latter part of the sixteenth century.  Her father at the age of five-and-twenty inherited the family estates at Edgeworthstown in 1769.  He had snatched an early marriage, which did not prove happy.  He had a little son, whom he was educating upon the principles set forth in Rousseau’s “Emile,” and a daughter Maria, who was... more...

INTRODUCTION I The story of the Edgeworth Family, if it were properly told, should be as long as the ARABIAN NIGHTS themselves; the thousand and one cheerful intelligent members of the circle, the amusing friends and relations, the charming surroundings, the cheerful hospitable home, all go to make up an almost unique history of a county family of great parts and no little character. The Edgeworths were people of good means and position, and... more...

PREFACE. We shall not imitate the invidious example of some authors, who think it necessary to destroy the edifices of others, in order to clear the way for their own. We have no peculiar system to support, and, consequently, we have no temptation to attack the theories of others; and we have chosen the title of Practical Education, to point out that we rely entirely upon practice and experience. To make any progress in the art of education, it... more...

I am sure that you have heard of us, and of all we have done and seen from Edgeworthstown as far as Berne: from thence we went to Thun: there we took char-à-bancs, little low carriages, like half an Irish jaunting car, with four wheels, and a square tarpaulin awning over our heads. Jolting along on these vehicles, which would go over a house, I am sure, without being overturned or without being surprised, we went—the Swiss postillion... more...

MARIA EDGEWORTH In the flats of the featureless county of Longford stands the large and handsome but unpretentious house of Edgeworthstown. The scenery here has few natural attractions, but the loving care of several generations has gradually beautified the surroundings of the house, and few homes have been more valued or more the centre round which a large family circle has gathered in unusual sympathy and love. In his Memoirs, Mr. Edgeworth... more...


THE BRACELETS. In a beautiful and retired part of England lived Mrs. Villars, a lady whose accurate understanding, benevolent heart, and steady temper, peculiarly fitted her for the most difficult, as well as most important of all occupations—the education of youth. This task she had undertaken; and twenty young persons were put under her care, with the perfect confidence of their parents. No young people could be happier; they were good... more...

MARIA EDGEWORTH Rosamond, a little girl about seven years of age, was walking with her mother in the streets of London. As she passed along she looked in at the windows of several shops, and saw a great variety of different sorts of things, of which she did not know the use or even the names. She wished to stop to look at them, but there was a great number of people in the streets, and a great many carts, carriages, and wheelbarrows, and she was... more...

CHAPTER I 'Are you to be at Lady Clonbrony's gala next week?' said Lady Langdale to Mrs. Dareville, whilst they were waiting for their carriages in the crush-room of the opera house. 'Oh yes! everybody's to be there, I hear,' replied Mrs. Dareville. 'Your ladyship, of course?' 'Why, I don't know—if I possibly can. Lady Clonbrony makes it such a point with me, that I believe I must look in upon her for a few minutes. They are going to a... more...

CHAPTER I. "There is Helen in the lime-walk," said Mrs. Collingwood to her husband, as she looked out of the window. The slight figure of a young person in deep mourning appeared between the trees,—"How slowly she walks! She looks very unhappy!" "Yes," said Mr. Collingwood, with a sigh, "she is young to know sorrow, and to struggle with difficulties to which she is quite unsuited both by nature and by education, difficulties which no one... more...

CHAPTER I. When I was a little boy of about six years old, I was standing with a maid-servant in the balcony of one of the upper rooms of my father's house in London—it was the evening of the first day that I had ever been in London, and my senses had been excited, and almost exhausted, by the vast variety of objects that were new to me. It was dusk, and I was growing sleepy, but my attention was awakened by a fresh wonder. As I stood... more...