Absurd speculations

The tragedy of development in Maria Edgeworth's Ormond

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This essay explores shared concerns regarding the representation of economic development that occurs in Maria Edgeworth's Irish bildungsroman Ormond (1817) and in Johann Wolfang von Goethe's two-part tragic retelling of the Faust myth (1808, 1832), building on recent interest in the representation of money in literature from the romantic period. While these two literary works are often seen as foundational texts in their respective national literatures, they both also explore the damning effects of economic and social development, especially through the medium of paper money. To this end, I examine the representation of paper money in Goethe's Faust Part Two and of the capitalist ventures of Sir Ulick O'Shane in Ormond in order to situate more firmly Edgeworth's writing within the broad European literary and social landscape. By focusing on the tragic representation of modernizing economics in these two works, it becomes obvious that Edgeworth, like Goethe, participates in and advances the formation of a modern world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-314
Number of pages24
JournalNineteenth-Century Literature
Volume71
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

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Tragedy
Speculation
Maria Edgeworth
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Economic Development
Modernity
Retellings
Goethe's Faust
Bildungsroman
Social Development
Romantic Period
Literary Works
Faust
National Literature
Economics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

Absurd speculations : The tragedy of development in Maria Edgeworth's Ormond. / Reznicek, Matthew L.

In: Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol. 71, No. 3, 01.12.2016, p. 291-314.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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