The Real Maria: Reading and Selecting from Maria Edgeworth’s Original Letters, 1782-1849
Valerie Pakenham (Editor of Maria Edgeworth’s Letters From Ireland) will bring insight to Maria Edgeworth’s life through the many letters she wrote in an extraordinary span of Irish history.
The Anglo-Irish writer Maria Edgeworth features in The Long Gaze Back anthology with a short story called, ‘The Purple Jar’. January 1st 2018 also marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Maria, who was born in Black Bourton, Oxfordshire in 1768.
Maria was a prolific and fascinating letter writer. She insisted that her letters were for private consumption only, but after her death, her stepmother and half-sisters produced a private memoir for friends using carefully selected extracts. Their literary quality was spotted by Augustus Hare, whose shortened version, ‘The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth’, appeared in 1894.
Valerie Pakenham has recently edited, ‘Maria Edgeworth’s Letters From Ireland’ (Lilliput Press). Valerie worked as a journalist in London at Condé Nast and the Daily Mail before her marriage to the writer Thomas Pakenham. Her most recent book is, ‘The Big House in Ireland’, an anthology published in 2001. She has lived in Westmeath, fourteen miles from Maria Edgeworth’s old family home in Edgeworthstown, for over fifty years and is familiar with many of the places described in the letters. The Pakenham and Edgeworth families intermarried in the early eighteenth century and were close friends across several generations.
Exclusive offer to RDS Members:
RDS Members who book for this talk and attend, will be entered in a free draw with a chance to win a signed copy of Valerie’s book, ‘Maria Edgeworth’s Letters From Ireland’. The draw will take place after the talk on April 25.
The above talk is admission free but prior booking is essential.
Voluntary donations by attendees to assist in covering costs are welcomed.
VenueRDS Library, Ballsbridge
TimeApril 25 at 6:30 pm
- Phone: 01 2407254