Belinda (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780199682133

Maria Edgeworth; Linda Bree
560 ページ
129 x 196 mm
Oxford World's Classics
  • The copytext is the first edition of 1801, in which a black servant marries a white country girl, and the heroine withdraws on moral grounds from a marriage she has promised to contract, both among controversial aspects of the novel removed in subsequent editions. The text has been meticulously checked against the original, and against later editions
  • The introduction and notes show for the first time how Edgeworth introduced into the novel vivid factual details - not only real places, people and social venues, but specific exhibitions, events and even newspaper advertisements - of social life in 1790s London
  • Clear and concise explanatory notes give useful information about places, situations and customs with which the twenty-first century reader may not be familiar
  • Belinda is significant as a reclaimed text by a neglected woman writer
  • Contain an appendix which traces clearly, and with extensive quotation, the changes made to the text over a series of editions which appeared in the author's lifetimes, and points out their effects

'It is singular, that my having spent a winter with one of the most dissipated women in England should have sobered my mind so completely.'
Maria Edgeworth's 1801 novel, Belinda, is an absorbing, sometimes provocative, tale of social and domestic life among the English aristocracy and gentry. The heroine of the title, only too conscious of being 'advertised' on the marriage market, grows in moral maturity as she seeks to balance self-fulfilment with achieving material success. Among those whom she encounters are the socialite Lady Delacour, whose brilliance and wit hide a tragic secret, the radical feminist Harriot Freke, the handsome and wealthy Creole gentleman Mr Vincent, and the mercurial Clarence Hervey, whose misguided idealism has led him into a series of near-catastrophic mistakes. In telling their story Maria Edgeworth gives a vivid picture of life in late eighteenth-century London, skilfully showing both the attractions of leisured society and its darker side, and blending drawing-room comedy with challenging themes involving serious illness, obsession, slavery and interracial marriage.


Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Maria Edgeworth
Explanatory notes


Maria Edgeworth
Edited by Linda Bree

Linda Bree is Editorial Director, Arts and Literature at Cambridge University Press. She has previously edited for the Oxford World's Classics, Defoe's Moll Flanders (2011) and Fielding's Jonathan Wild (2008).