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Absentee


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A novel by M. Edgeworth, first published 1812 in Tales of Fashionable Life.

This novel, the greater part of which is in conversation, begins with the extravagant London life of the absentee Irish landlord Lord Clonbrony and his wife. The author shows Lady Clonbrony's attempts to buy her way into high society, her contempt for her Irish origins, and her treatment of her son, Lord Colambre, who refuses to marry the heiress she provides for him. He falls in love with his cousin Grace, and becomes increasingly appalled at his father's debts. He travels incognito to Ireland to visit the family estates and to see if his mother's dislike of Irish life is justified, calling himself Evans. He finds that one of the estates, managed by the brothers Garraghty, is half‐ruined, the land ill‐farmed, and the tenants treated with callous indifference. Colambre discovers that both his mother and his cousin Grace are remembered with affection. He returns to London and tells his father that he will himself pay off the debts, on condition that the Garraghtys are dismissed and the Clonbrony family returns to live on its Irish estates. After the sorting out of various troubles, he and Grace become engaged, and the family leave London to live in Ireland.

Subjects: Literature.


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Authors

Maria Edgeworth (1767—1849) novelist and educationist


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