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Tales and Novels (V10, Helen)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  13 reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan ...more
Paperback, 468 pages
Published by (first published 1834)
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Julie Wake
A really super book. Apparently she was Jane Austen's greatest rival at the time, but she is obviously nowhere near as popular these days.
The book has similarites to Austen but is slightly racier (!) and really does involve you in the lives of the characters.
Helen is the kind of novel where one should not focus on plot. In truth, the plot is very silly; but what redeems this novel is Edgeworth’s character studies—the social and emotional impact on deception and concealment. It is truly amazing how something so insignificant and trivial—school girl deceptions and concealment—can be blown out of proportion, on the brink of becoming a social nightmare for all involved. This is the most interesting part of the novel, and I can easily understand why auth ...more
Virginia Papandrea
As others have noted, Maria Edgeworth was one of the most popular and esteemed authors of her time. Roughly a contemporary of Jane Austen, she wrote along simiar lines, i.e., novels of domestic affairs rather than of larger social movements or "great" events such as wars. Her strength is in her exploration and development of character and a style that remains quite readable nearly 200 years later. I would agree with others' observations, however, that the moralistic tone, drawn-out agonizing (wi ...more
Miserable. I began this book because I read that Maria Edgeworth was a contemporary of Jane Austin and was exponentially more popular in her time. It is not poorly written but the humorless agony the characters experience goes on for far longer than I can stomach. Helen is the last book Edgeworth wrote and is alledgedly free of moralizing. Instead the characters stop every two pages to deliver long lectures about how to be really racist, or the proper place for women, or how to be horrid to pers ...more
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading Maria Edgeworth’s novel “Helen”. To me Helen seemed to be a novel about lying. The small, little lies we tell and how destructive even they can be. The heroine of the novel, Helen Stanley, is orphaned and goes to live with her dearest friend, Lady Cecelia Clarendon and her husband. Cecelia is a sweet, charming girl; but she has the habit of telling small seemingly harmless lies, that build up and destroy her relationships and her marriage.

Now I did enjoy the novel, b
If you've never read any Edgeworth but are keen to give her a go (maybe you read that she was Jane Austen's greatest competitor?) - then Helen is a good place to start! It's a fairly late book in the author's career, which means that she is less didactic, and more concerned with nuanced characterization, than in earlier books like 'Patronage' and 'Belinda'. 'Helen' also contains an extraordinary portrait of an unrepentant (for the most part) career woman, who chose political influence over mothe ...more
I think I went through every agonising emotion that the author intended for the reader. I went through the second half of the book very quickly as I was so unsure how it all would end.
I found the characters portrayed very well and I believe that they are very relevant to the present day. I thought that the publishing of the love letters is a very similar thing to leaked photos and the malicious use of images in our modern day way of slandering.
All in all a good book despite the frustration thr
A few nice tidbits supremely weighed down by almost unbearable tedium. Made it through 63% and just can't take it anymore.

I'm sorry Miss Maria, if you had stuck to the story rather than the social commentary I may have continued on. Lady Davenant ad nauseum.
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
There is much to recommend this, including the invigorating common sense of Edgeworth's writing about women and marriage and honesty. But there is plenty of baggy histrionics to bulk out the paper thin plot over 500 pages and the ending is full on emotional excess.
Alba Türme
Aug 16, 2010 Alba Türme marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I was really looking forward to read it but now that I got it from the post office I have to say that the cover is really off-putting and nothing to do with the image I have of Maria Edgeworth (I'm writing my dissertation about her) so, even though I don't like to judge a book by its cover, this time I have to say that this cover gives a wrong impression of this novelist... I'm disappointed with this sentimentalistic image at the front! It has nothing to do with the hidden polemist and proto-fem ...more
I loved the moral and writing and wit in this story. All books should offer so much. I started to read slowly because I didn't want it to end.
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Edgeworth was an Anglo-Irish gentry-woman, born in Oxfordshire and later resettling in County Longford. She eventually took over the management of her father's estate in Ireland and dedicated herself to writing novels that encouraged the kind treatment of Irish tenants and the poor by their landlords.
More about Maria Edgeworth...

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“When people are warm, they cannot stand picking terms.” 2 likes
“said Lady Davenant.” 0 likes
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