by MARIA EDGEWORTH
Footnotes have been inserted in the text in square ("")
brackets, close to the point where they were originally.
Characters printed in italics in the original text have been
written in capital letters in this etext.
The British Pound Sterling symbol has been written 'L'.
NOTES ON 'THE ABSENTEE'
In August 1811, we are told, she wrote a little play about
landlords and tenants for the children of her sister, Mrs.
Beddoes. Mr. Edgeworth tried to get the play produced on the
London boards. Writing to her aunt, Mrs. Ruxton, Maria says,
'Sheridan has answered as I foresaw he must, that in the present
state of this country the Lord Chamberlain would not license THE
ABSENTEE; besides there would be a difficulty in finding actors
for so many Irish characters.' The little drama was then turned
into a story, by Mr. Edgeworth's advice. Patronage was laid
aside for the moment, and THE ABSENTEE appeared in its place in