“The Absentee is a novel by Maria Edgeworth, published in 1812 in Tales of Fashionable Life, that expresses the systemic evils of the absentee landlord class of Anglo-Irish and the desperate condition of the Irish peasantry. Just before coming of age, Lord Colambre, the sensitive hero of the novel, finds that his mother Lady Clonbrony's attempts to buy her way into the high society of London are only ridiculed, while his father, Lord Clonbrony, is in serious debt as a result of his wife's lifestyle. His mother wishes him to marry an heiress, Miss Broadhurst, who is a friend of Grace Nugent. However, Colambre has already fallen in love with his cousin, Grace Nugent, who lives with the family as a companion to Lady Clonbrony. Worried that his mother will pressure him into a marriage with someone he does not love, Colambre decides to leave the London social scene and visit his ancestral home in Ireland.” (Citation from Wikipedia: The free Encyclopaedia)
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