Maria Edgeworth: The Parent's Assistant

(1069 words)
  • Sharon Jude Murphy (St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra)

Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) published her first collection of tales for children under the title The Parent's Assistant in 1796. In his preface to the work, her father, Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1744-1817), stressed that it was in the first place predicated upon the observation of real-life children and contained lessons that had been faithfully drawn from real-life experience. “It seems … a very easy task to write for children”, he remarked, but “[t]hose only who have been interested in the education of a family … can feel the dangers and difficulties of such an undertaking” (10: 1-2). Richard Lovell Edgeworth's point was that his daughter was peculiarly suited to write for children because she knew

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Murphy, Sharon Jude. "The Parent's Assistant". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 May 2007
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]