Practical Education is Maria Edgeworth’s only nonfiction work. In the text, Edgeworth, along with her father and co-author, scientist Richard Lovell Edgeworth, offers her own educational philosophy. They respond, in part, to contemporary male theorists like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who first posited a theory of child development. Edgeworth primarily addresses this subject, which was still relatively unexplored, expanding upon what Rousseau posits and offering more details of how to educate the growing child. For example, in the first chapter (displayed here), Edgeworth argues that if children are expected to be intelligent and lively, they must have toys that “exercise their senses or their imagination, their imitative, and inventive powers”--not just their hands”. Edgeworth went on to become well-known for her children’s stories and novels.
Lehigh University Catalog Record: https://asa.lib.lehigh.edu/Record/259780
A version of this text has been digitized and is available through the Internet Archive.
Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849)
London: J. Johnson, 1798