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08 Dec 2021

Fascinating new book on the works of Maria Edgeworth to be launched in new Edgeworthstown library

Edgeworthstown Library: Book to be launched in brand new community library which opens this week

Fascinating new book  on the works of  Maria Edgeworth to be launched in new Edgeworthstown library

The book will be launched at the new, state-of-the-art Edgeworthstown Library

Friday evening, November 26, at 7pm will be another momentous occasion for the Edgeworth Society with the launch of a new book on Maria Edgeworth by Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir, a lecturer at the Department of English, UCC and an Edgeworth scholar.

Part of the new Key Irish Women Writers series from the publisher Edward Everett Root, is a critical introduction to her work intended for students and general readers.

The book will be launched by Síona Cahill, who has featured on the National Stage as former President of the Students Union of Ireland and is currently Public Affairs & Communications Manager with Gaisce – The President’s Award.

Alongside the opening of the wonderful Maria Edgeworth Visitor Centre, thought to be the only centre solely dedicated to a woman writer, the society has endeavoured to reinstate the work and legacy of Maria Edgeworth and to bring it to a wider audience.

Clíona’s book comes at an appropriate time and is a must read for those familiar with the writings of Maria Edgeworth and equally for those wishing to introduce themselves for the first time.

Susan Manly, Reader in English, University of St Andrews and an authority on the life, times and work of Maria Edgeworth speaks of it as, “a sparkling lucid book, hugely enjoyable to read, richly insightful and suggestive”.

Until relatively recently, Edgeworth was known primarily as the author of Castle Rackrent, but Clíona Ó Gallchoir’s book sets out to introduce the reader to the wide range, extent and quality of her work which was exceptional and is matched by very few writers of the period.

She was acclaimed as a novelist of female experience, a pioneer of social realism, and an innovator in the representation of regional and national identity whose ‘Irish Tales’ broke entirely new ground. She was also a prolific and successful writer for children, and a significant figure in the development of educational thought.

The launch will take place on Friday evening, November 26 at 7pm in the New Community Library. It is fitting on many fronts that the launch be held in this wonderful new Library.

The Library is situated on a very historic site, which was the location for the school where Oliver Goldsmith received his early education, and was also the site of the experimental school established by Lovell Edgeworth, Maria’s brother.

The school at the time came to the attention of many educationalists from all over Europe who visited Edgeworthstown to study the experiment.

One of its most famous pupils was James Bronterre O’Brien who went on to Trinity College Dublin and was later to become a leader in the struggle for Universal Suffrage in England, which eventually led to one man one vote and the freedom of the press in England.

The opening of the new library is something that the society has been advocating for, and indeed through its associate group the EDDA purchased the site and gifted it to the local authority with the aim of building a new library for the people of the town.

It will now become the focal point in the town and hopefully inspire further development and economic activity.

Proceeds from the launch will go to the upkeep of the Maria Edgeworth Centre in Edgeworthstown. For more information, visit mariaedgeworthcentre.com.

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