Maria Edgeworth: Ennui (1400 words)

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

Ennui was published as part of the 1809 series of Maria Edgeworth's Tales of Fashionable Life, and a leading reviewer of the day, Francis Jeffrey, declared it to be probably “the best and the most entertaining” of the collection: “The Irish characters are inimitable; – not the caricatures of modern playwrights – but drawn with a spirit, and delicacy, and a precision, to which we do not know if there be any parallel among national delineations” (Edinburgh Review, vol. xiv [1809], 379). Jeffrey's review of Ennui was largely echoed by other readers and critics; the work went in a fourth edition by 1813 and, with The Absentee (1812), helped to establish Edgeworth's reputation as the …

Murphy, Sharon Jude. "Ennui". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 May 2007
[, accessed 28 October 2016.]