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Maria Edgeworth was a prolific Anglo-Irish writer of adults' and children's literature. She was one of the first realist writers in children's literature and was a significant figure in the evolution of the novel in Europe. She held advanced views, for a woman of her time, on estate management, politics and education. Here is what one biographer of Maria Edgeworth has to say about Helen. "It was in 1830–when already past sixty years of age–that Miss Edgeworth set to work upon the last, and what, at the time it was written, was possibly the most successful of all her novels–namely, Helen. Any reader who will take it down from its shelf, and glance over it, will quickly perceive that it is a novel of a very much more modern type than any other by the same hand. In reading it we are aware that the eighteenth century has at last dropped out of sight, and that we are well out upon the nineteenth, not indeed as yet 'Victorian', but in a sort of midway region, on the road to that superior epoch." Additional Proof Listening: David Lawrence