Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda

This paper discusses the feminist implications of Maria Edgeworth’s 19th century novel, `Belinda.`

This paper explains that Edgeworth’s Belinda seems to flaunt the 19th century ideas about the proper behavior of women in society, but the novel does little to challenge many of the accepted roles of women in that society. The author points out that, in her time, Maria Edgeworth was a well-respected, popular, and published author of some renown and is considered to be one of the western world’s best female novelists of the 19th century. The author, nonetheless, believes that the novel `Belinda` is often tedious and repetitive; Edgeworth’s prose can often be difficult because of her many long passages.
In chapter XVI, Belinda goes to Lady Anne Percival, and experiences domestic happiness in their house. Chapter XVII begins with a discussion between Belinda and Mrs. Freke, who spread rumor of the relationship between Clarence Hervey and Lady Delacour. Belinda meets Mr. Vincent. In chapter XVIII, Mr. Vincent brings up the differences obvious between the happy, domestic Anne Percival and Lady Delacour, but Belinda quiets him by noting her friendship with the Lady Delacour. Lady Anne Percival tells Belinda of Mr. Vincent’s affection for Belinda, and Belinda tells Lady Ann about Clarence Hervey. In chapter XIX Belinda learns of Lady Delacour’s poor health, and decides to return to Lady Delacour. In XX, Belinda is taken into the lives of Lady Delacour and Clarence Hervey. In XXI, we see the cold interaction of Lady Delacour and her daughter Helena.