Read Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth Free Online
Book Title: Castle Rackrent|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 916 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.6
The author of the book: Maria Edgeworth
Edition: Dover Publications
Date of issue: March 24th 2005
ISBN 13: 9780486440927
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This enjoyable one volume novel--brief as a medium-sized novella--was published in 1800, but is set in the years from the middle of the 18th century to the establishment of the Irish constitution of 1782. It gives us a satirical view of four generations of the Rackrent family, each an example of the irresponsible Irish gentry. Parsimonious or profligate in his habits, amiable or arrogant in his demeanor, each Lord of Rackrent herein described impoverishes his peasants and abuses his wealth, leading to the destruction of the Rackrent fortune, and the mortaging--and eventual loss--of the estates.
The tale is told in the voice of Thady Quirk, an old house servant, who, while loyally praising or excusing each former master, observes so precisely and narrates so colorfully the history of the family that he makes each Lord of Rackrent look very bad indeed.
This narrative--arguably not only the first historical novel but also the first novel of any sort featuring an unreliable narrator---taught Austen something about irony and gave Scott a great model for his lengthier, more ponderous books (including revelatory monologues by comic servants in ethnic dialect and the use of an imposing apparatus of notes and appendices to explain the little-known singularities of a minority culture).
Unlike many historically important works, "Castle Rackrent" is very entertaining, well worth the short amount of time it will take you to read it.
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Read information about the authorEdgeworth was an Anglo-Irish gentry-woman, born in Oxfordshire and later resettling in County Longford. She eventually took over the management of her father's estate in Ireland and dedicated herself to writing novels that encouraged the kind treatment of Irish tenants and the poor by their landlords.
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