Maria Edgeworth: The Parent's Assistant (1069 words)

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

Murphy, Sharon Jude. "The Parent's Assistant". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 May 2007
[, accessed 21 March 2018.]

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