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Castle Rackrent

Maria Edgeworth

Book Overview: 

The novel is set in early 1780's Ireland and is narrated by Honest Thady, loyal steward to generations of the Rackrent family. These are: The generous Sir Patrick, the tight-fisted Sir Murtagh (married into the Skinflint family), the cruel Sir Kit who locked his wealthy wife up in her room for seven years and the amiable spendthrift Sir Condy, who has no head for business and a fondness for whiskey punch. Together, they have run the estate into debt and disaster. Jason Quirk, Thady's astute son sorts everything out in the end to his satisfaction but much to Thady's dismay

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Here, above all, we had the opportunity of seeing in what universal respect and comfort a gentleman's family may live in that country, provided only they live there habitually and do their duty. . . . Here we found neither mud hovels nor naked peasantry, but snug cottages and smiling faces all about. . . . Here too we pleased ourselves with recognising some of the sweetest features in Goldsmith's picture of "Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain."' Oliver Goldsmith received his education at this very school of Edgeworthstown, and Pallas More, the little hamlet where the author of THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD first saw the light, is still, as it was then, the property of the Edgeworths.

So Scott came to visit his little friend, and the giant was cheered and made welcome by her charming hospitality. It was a last gleam of sunshine in that noble life. We instinctively feel how happy they all were in each other's good company. We can almost overhear some of their . . . Read More