A Radical Life

Biographer Susan Manly explores the radical life of the Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849). Broadcast as a Lyric Feature on RTÉ lyric fm on 19th May 2019 at 6 pm. Repeated 24th May 2020.

Why the name of Maria Edgeworth is not as well known as that of Jane Austen is a question that Susan Manly has often pondered.

In this programme, Susan, who is a Reader in English at the University of St Andrews, and is currently writing a new biography of Maria Edgeworth, explores her life and work.

Susan hears from a range of experts about Maria’s writings, her radical ideas on the education of children and the position of women in society, and her role as an activist in the abolitionist movement. Contributors include: Clíona Ó Gallchoir of UCC, author of A History of Modern Irish Women’s Literature; Aileen Douglas, Head of the School of English at TCD; Sara Lodge, Senior Lecturer in English at the University of St Andrews; Claire Connolly, Professor of English at UCC.

In the company of Matt Farrell, Chairman of the Edgeworth Society, Susan also visits Maria’s home in Edgeworthstown, her garden, and the church where she worshipped and where she is buried.

The programme is richly illustrated with readings from Edgeworth’s novels and other writings, read by Doireann Ní Bhriain. Andrew Bennett provides the voice of Maria’s father, Richard Lovell Edgeworth.

A radical life is a Rockfinch Production for RTÉ lyric fm, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from the Television Licence Fee.

Presented by Susan Manly. Produced by Claire Cunningham. Sound supervision by Tinpot Productions

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