Unknown woman engraved as Maria Edgeworth

1 portrait of Maria Edgeworth

Unknown woman engraved as Maria Edgeworth, by Mackenzie, after  William Marshall Craig, published 1 November 1808 - NPG D4455 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Unknown woman engraved as Maria Edgeworth

by Mackenzie, after William Marshall Craig
line and stipple engraving, published 1 November 1808
Given by Ernest E. Leggatt, 1914
Reference Collection
NPG D4455

Sitterback to top

  • Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849), Novelist; daughter of Richard Lovell Edgeworth. Sitter associated with 9 portraits.

Artistsback to top

  • William Marshall Craig (died 1827), Painter. Artist associated with 22 portraits.
  • Mackenzie (active early 19th century), Engraver. Artist associated with 42 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Maria Edgeworth is significant as the inventor of the Anglo-Irish regional novel and its introduction to a wide English readership. Her most famous novel was Castle Rackrent (1800). It chronicled the decline of an Anglo-Irish family, narrated by a local servant whose representation was a sympathetic, if still paternalistic, departure from the traditional portrayals of the Irish in English literature and theatre. Later novels explored the consequences of the 1801 Union and the fate of the Anglo-Irish élite who moved to London.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D14114: Unknown woman engraved as Maria Edgeworth (from same plate)

Events of 1808back to top

Current affairs

The 'Mary Anne Clarke affair' erupts in which Clarke, mistress of Frederick, Duke of York, was said to have used her influence with him to run a military promotions racket. Championed by radical government opponents, it ends in the Duke's resignation as Commander-in-Chief of the army.

Art and science

Sculptor John Flaxman begins Nelson memorial for St Paul's.
Richard Trevithick demonstrates model railway travelling at 12 mph.


After taking Portugal, Napoleon invades Spain, deposes the Spanish Bourbon monarchy and appoints his brother Joseph as the new King. The
Peninsular War then begins under Sir John Moore and Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, aiming to protect Portugal and exploit Iberian hatred of French tyranny.

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