Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival

10th-12th May 2024

Literary Festival

... Programme 2024

Every year we find new and exciting guests for our Literary Festival – Click on the images below to learn more about this years guests

Friday 10th May

10.30 a.m.

Saturday 11th May

10.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m

2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m

Saturday 11th May

10.00 a.m. – 12.30 p.m

Saturday 11th May

8.00 p.m. – 10.30 p.m

Tea Party, Edgeworthstown House
Tea Party, Edgeworthstown House
Portrait of the Edgeworth family by Adam Buck Photograph - National Gallery of Ireland
Portrait of the Edgeworth family by Adam Buck Photograph - National Gallery of Ireland

The Edgeworth Family

Meathas Troim/Edgeworthstown 1619-2020

Sixteen nineteen was a troubled time in Ireland, in Meatus Troim James 1 of England granted 600 acres of confiscated lands to a Francis Edgeworth, whose family originated from Edgeware, in Middlesex. Francis Edgeworth was married three times, his third wife was Jane Tuite a catholic, from Sonnagh, in Co Westmeath. The family lived in a Castle in Cranley before moving to the house now known as The Manor. It would be fair to say that the family were mainly absentee landlords who cared little for their tenants, this situation remained until Richard his great grandson inherited.

Maria’s father Richard Lovell Edgeworth inherited the estate from his brother Thomas, who died at a young age. He resided in Edgeworthstown and was considered to be a fair and reforming landlord. This was an exciting time in history, it was a time of enlightenment and the Edgeworth family were at the centre of this period. Richard Lovell Edgeworth was a member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham, an informal gathering of prominent figures who were credited with being at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Alongside Edgeworth were household names such as Erasmus Darwin, James Watt, Matthew Boulton and Josiah Wedgwood.

Maria Edgeworth grew up in rural Edgeworthstown and was influenced by the landscape and the people of the area. These influences were evident in the portrayal of her character Thady Quirk in her famous novel Castle Rackrent a satirical commentary of her ancestors. The Edgeworth Society are building on this legacy with the hope that a wider awareness will bring benefits to the local community.