This innovative book reassess the place of Maria Edgeworth within the Irish literary canon by illuminating the connections between her views on gender and her construction of Ireland, beginning in the revolutionary decade of the 1790s and ending in the aftermath of Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform. O Gallchoir addresses the full scope of Edgeworth's writing, creating a context within which Edgeworth's Irish novels can be read alongside tales and novels set in England and France: undervalued texts are recovered and better-known ones are shown in a new light. Edgeworth's commitment to the values of the Enlightenment is explored in the context of her indebtedness to the work of French women writers and her sophisticated awareness of the precarious position of the woman writer in society.
Cliona O Gallchoir lectures in English at University College Cork and has published articles on Maria Edgeworth and aspects of Irish writing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She also edited two volumes in the Pickering & Chatto Novels and Selected Works of Maria Edgeworth.