Maria Edgeworth: The Absentee

(1320 words)
  • Sharon Jude Murphy (St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra)

The Absentee was first published as part of Maria Edgeworth's 1812 series of Tales of Fashionable Life and, together with Ennui (1809), established her reputation as the pre-eminent writer of the early-nineteenth century. John Wilson Croker, one of the most influential of contemporary reviewers, declared the work to be “decidedly the best” in the collection of tales, suggesting that it presented readers with “the most accurate and yet the most diversified views that have ever been drawn of a national character” (336). Other reviewers were also complimentary and, in his “Postscript, which should have been a Preface” to Waverley (1814), Sir Walter Scott credited Edgeworth as one of the major …

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Murphy, Sharon Jude. "The Absentee". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 May 2007
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]