|Statement||edited by Christina Colvin.|
Maria Edgeworth's novel, Belinda, is an absorbing, sometimes provocative, tale of social and domestic life among the English aristocracy and gentry. The heroine of the title, only too conscious of being 'advertised' on the marriage market, grows in moral maturity as she seeks to balance self-fulfilment with achieving material success. Throughout the book, Maria Edgeworth explores the theatre--and theatricality-- of identity, shaped by artifice and the distortions of others and our own needs for self-dramatization as well as by Reason and Truth. The first chapter is eerily reminiscent of Proust: long delvings into vivid elaborated fantasies, the trapped, claustrophobic feel /5(6).