Book Review: Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth

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How’s it shaken, bacon?

So, I’ve just finished Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth, for college. I thought, as I’d be reading… a bit, I’d review the stuff I was reading. Why not? Can be bought from Book Depository and Amazon (among other places) I’ll include links (for the version I read) here: Book Depository, Amazon.co.uk.

 

Novel Title: Castle Rackrent

Author: Maria Edgeworth

Date of Publication: 1800

Ratings: 3.2 (GoodReads)

During the 1790s, with Ireland in political crisis, Maria Edgeworth made a surprisingly rebellious choice: in Castle Rackrent, her first novel, she adopted an Irish Catholic voice to narrate the decline of a family from her own Anglo-Irish class. Castle Rackrent’s narrator, Thady Quirk, gives us four generations of Rackrent heirs – Sir Patrick, the dissipated spendthrift; Sir Murtagh, the litigating fiend; Sir Kit, the brutal husband and gambling absentee; and Sir Condy, the lovable and improvident dupe of Thady’s own son, Jason. With this satire on Anglo-Irish landlords Edgeworth pioneered the regional novel and inspired Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly (1814). She also changed the focus of conflict in Ireland from religion to class and boldly predicted the rise of the Irish Catholic Bourgeoisie. (Taken from Book Depository as linked above)

What did I like?

I really liked the narration style of the story. It’s written as if someone were transcribing an oral story. At times I really felt like I was listening to someone tell a story as opposed to reading it. As much as the footnotes annoyed me (I didn’t even go near the glossary), they often added no small amount of humour to the story and added some embellishments. It’s a fairly short story and the language used (for the most part) is clear and straight forward, the footnotes clarify any particular grammatical uses that may not be clear to a reader.

What didn’t I like?

I didn’t entirely love the footnotes. I felt as though they effected the flow of the story and the narrative and often pulled me from the immersion of the story. That being said, it had it’s perks (mentioned above).

 

Would I recommend?

Definitely would recommend the story. Particularly to anyone who likes the verbal story telling style of novel. It’s a relatively realist style of novel, set over 4 generations up to the early 1790’s.

 

My Personal Rating: 3.5/5

 

Until next time, warm hugs

Morgenstern!

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