By Richard Lovell Edgeworth
By Maria Edgeworth
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:September 2011
Original Publication Year:1820
Subjects: History of science and technology , History of science
Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1744–1817) was a noted Irish educationalist, engineer and inventor. This two-volume autobiography, begun in 1808, was published in 1820. Edgeworth had abandoned the project in 1809, having covered the period to 1781, and it was completed after his death by his eldest daughter, a successful novelist. Maria Edgeworth and her father had co-authored educational works, and the experience of helping her father run their estate during her teens had provided material for her novels. Volume 2 of these memoirs was wholly written by her, though it contains excerpts from Richard's correspondence. It recounts how, after his third marriage, the growing family returned to Ireland, and focused first on domestic and educational concerns. Richard became involved in Irish politics and the newly founded Royal Irish Academy but continued to publish essays on scientific and mechanical topics, as well as influential (though controversial) works on education.