Faithful family employee Thady Quirk recounts the decline, over four generations, of the Rackrent family. Through gambling, hapless litigation, and general extravagance the Rackrent’s ruin is accomplished, but Thady is steadfast in defence of his masters.
With the short novel Castle Rackrent, Maria Edgeworth is said to have originated a number of literary genres and subgenres, including the historical novel, the Anglo-Irish novel and the “Big House” novel, a uniquely Irish subject in which the big house, where the typically English landlord lived, is surrounded by peasants.
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