Authors: Edgeworth, Maria

Categories: Fiction




Year: 1821

Publisher: R. Hunter, Successor To J. Johnson, St. Paul's Churchyard ; And Baldwin, Cradock, And Joy, Paternoster-Row.

Pagination: V.I 327 ; V.II 340 ; V.III 315

Dimensions: 19 x 11.5 cm

City: London

Document Type: Book

Language: English

Printer: C. Baldwin, New Bridge-Street, London

Advertisements: V.I iii-iv 'ADVERTISEMENT.' V.III 316 'Correct List of Mr. and Miss Edgeworth's | Works' (lists title, vol., author for each entry).

Marginalia: V.III i '(1767-1849)' (next to 'MARIA EDGEWORTH' in pencil).

Binding: Brown, quarter calf. Front and back covers marbled board, unsightly yellow-brown. SPINE: [gilt-tooled] 'BELINDA | (VOL. #) | (other #, VOL. I: 848, VOL. II: 849, VOL. III: 850)'.

Edges: Trimmed


Full-title: BELINDA. BY MARIA EDGEWORTH. IN THREE VOLUMES. FOURTH EDITION, CORRECTED AND IMPROVED. Maria Edgeworth (1 January 1767 – 22 May 1849) was born at Black Bourton, Oxfordshire, the second child of the writer, scientist, inventor, and educationist Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1744-1817) and Anna Maria Edgeworth née Elers (1743-1773). After her father’s second marriage to Honora Sneyd (d. 1780) in 1773 she went with him to Ireland, settling at Edgeworthstown, County Longford. Maria’s father had high hopes for Maria. She attended Mrs. Lattafiere’s school in Derby where she studied subjects including dancing and French and became known for story-telling amongst her friends. After her step-mother’s death in 1780 she was sent to Mrs. Davis’s school, Upper Wimpole Street, London. In 1782 Maria returned to Ireland with her father and his third wife (Honora’s sister Elizabeth). She managed the estate, educated her younger brother, and began writing children’s stories. Her writing career began in 1795 with the publication of Letters for Literary Ladies, written in collaboration with her father, a partnership that continued, largely with political works, until his death. Her first novel Castle Rackrent was published anonymously in 1800. Following upon the excellent reception her subsequent works were credited to her own name. The Edgeworth family experienced the Irish Rebellion 1798, traveled abroad in 1802, visiting Belgium and France, returned to Ireland in 1803. In 1813 Maria met Lord Byron and others in London. She corresponded with Sir Walter Scott after the publication of Waverley (1814) and visited him at Abbotsford. She returned to France in 1820 and was well-received, meeting many prominent authors of the day. She aided famine-stricken Irish peasants after the famine started in 1845. She died at home in Edgeworthstown on 22 May 1849 after complaining of heart pain. She is buried in the family tomb at St. John’s Church, Edgeworthstown, Longford, Ireland. Published Works (incomplete) • Letters for Literary Ladies (1795) • The Parent's Assistant (1796) • Practical Education (1798) • Castle Rackrent (1800) • Early Lessons (1801) • Belinda (1801) • Essay on Irish Bulls (1802) • Popular Tales (1804) • The Modern Griselda (1804) • Moral Tales for Young People (1805) • Leonora (1806) • Tales of Fashionable Life (1809) • Ennui (1809) • The Absentee (1812) • Patronage (1814) • Harrington (1817) • Ormond (1817) • Comic Dramas (1817) • Memoirs (1820) • Rosamond, a sequel (1821) • Early Lessons (1822) • Helen (1834) R. Hunter; likely Rowland Hunter; trade dates 1805-1836; at 72 St. Paul’s Churchyard, 73 St. Paul’s Churchyard, 1a Charlotte St., Rathbone Pl.; printer, bookseller, bookbinder; successor to Mr. Johnson. Charles Baldwin (1774–1869) was bound to his father as an apprentice compositor on 7 July 1789. In 1801 his father changed the firm's name to Henry Baldwin & Son and later relinquished his two shares. He married Elizabeth Ann Laurents of Jersey. They had fifteen children. His son Edward later took over the business. By 1815 Charles Baldwin became sole owner. In 1809 Charles Baldwin bought the rival London Evening-Post. In 1819 he purchased the London Chronicle and absorbed it into the St James's Chronicle. On 21 May 1827 The Standard was launched. He was also owner of the London Packet and the London Journal. In 1844 Charles Baldwin retired. He died, an extraordinarily wealthy man, aged ninety-five at his daughter's house, 27 Sussex Gardens, Hyde Park, London, on 18 February 1869. Baldwin, Cradock & Joy – publisher, bookseller, publisher (music), music seller - 1816-39 at 47 Paternoster Row, London. Summary: VOL. I: p. i title-page. p. ii printer's imprint. p. iii-iv advertisement. p. v-vi contents (for VOL. I; VOL. II; VOL. III). p. 1-327 text. p. 327 printer's imprint. VOL. II: p. I title-page. p. ii printer's imprint. p. iii contents (VOL. II only). p. iv blank verso. p. 1-340 text. p. 340 priner's imprint. VOL. III: p. I title-page. p. ii printer's imprint. p. iii contents (VOL. III only). p. iv blank verso. p. 1-315 text. p. 315 printer's imprint. p. 316 advertisement. PLOT SUMMARY: Belinda, as indicated in the opening Advertisement, is a moral tale that describes the trials and tribulations of a young woman, Belinda, trying to find her place in society. One of the key conflicts that emerges is that between moral rectitude and personal or material gain. Belinda, sent by her cunning aunt Stanhope to the house of Lady Delacourt to learn the ways of the world and to marry herself into society so as to establish wealth and position above all else, must fend off the shallow distractions and materialistic ways of the upper class set if she is to marry according to the dictates of her heart and not the hopes and desires of those around her. As such, the tale revolves around the marriage quest. Against the advice of her aunt, and to the surprise of others, Belinda rejects the wealthy fool Sir Philip, a baronet, thus establishing that she is not about to marry quickly and simply for money. She is determined to marry on her own terms. She initially accepts the hand of Mr. Vincent, a wealthy Creole gentleman raised in the West Indies. However, a complicated series of events leads to a break in the engagement when she becomes aware that he gambles - seemingly related to a poorly regulated childhood during which he was left to associate with plantation workers and participate in the idle games of the local population. At the same time, the hero of the story, the young, dashing, intelligent and wealthy Clarence Hervey, for whom Belinda seems to hold a reserved appreciation throughout, influenced by the writings of Rousseau forms the nearly disastrous project of educating a wife for himself. His Pygmalionesque attempt to make the naïve young girl he meets in the forest, an unveiled reference to St. Pierre's Paul et Virginie, into the ideal bride, ends when he realizes he is not in love with Virginia, who seems ill-suited to meet his intellectual demands. To save face and avoid scandal Clarence is on the verge of marrying Virginia when Lady Delacour, Belinda's greatest fan due to her devoted friendship during her recovery from illness and opium abuse, saves the day. Belinda and Clarence are reunited and Virginia also finds a suitable husband. The 1821 edition of Belinda under consideration is of poor printing quality. Although the binding remains in good condition, there are numerous typos and errors of various sorts. Although this does not affect the reading of the novel, it is curious that there should be so many mistakes twenty years after the first edition, especially since this edition was printed by R. Hunter, successor to J. Johnson, publisher of the first edition (1801). It may be that C. Baldwin was not the original printer, or that stereotyped plates were used to lower the cost of printing. To improve the state of the text would have required setting the type again, a time-consuming and expensive process. Further, as an established popular novel print quality was probably not a high priority for publishers looking to produce profitable books rather than collector items.