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Details & Cataloguing

English Literature, History and Children's Books & Illustrations

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Edgeworth Family.
COLLECTION OF EIGHT PORTRAITS OF CHARACTERS IN MARIA EDGEWORTH'S NOVEL "CASTLE RACKRENT"

each illustration c.290 x 185mm., watercolour, ink and pencil, depicting "The Gossoon", "Young Sir Condy", "Jason Quirk", "Thady's Shister", "The Great Sir Patrick O'Shauglin", "Judy McQuirk", "Sir Condy Rackrent and his Lady" and "The Gauger", all captioned, some with quotations from the text, all mounted, framed and glazed, some browning, occasional spotting and staining, some frames slightly damaged


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Provenance

The Edgeworth family at Edgeworthstown; thence by descent

Catalogue Note

Original watercolour illustrations by the Edgeworth children for the comic masterpiece "Castle Rackrent"

This series of illustrations is thought to have been drawn by various of the author's younger siblings and half-siblings on the family's estate at Edgeworthstown: there were 18 surviving children from Richard Edgeworth's four marriages. 

W.B. Yeats has called Castle Rackrent (1800), Maria Edgeworth's first and probably finest novel,  "one of the most inspired chronicles written in English" (Representative Irish Tales, 1891), and Padraic Colum wrote that "One can read it in an hour. Then one knows why the whole force of England could not break the Irish people". Castle Rackrent is often regarded as the first fully developed historical novel and the first true regional novel in English. Set before 1782 the high-spirited tale, unreliably narrated by the racy Thady Quirk, devoted steward to three generations of the Rackrents, satirises Anglo-Irish landlords and the mismanagement of their estates, just at the time when the English and Irish parliaments were working towards formalising the Act of Union. 

English Literature, History and Children's Books & Illustrations

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London