Belinda

Introduction

Belinda is an 1801 novel by the Irish writer Maria Edgeworth.[1] It was first published in three volumes by Joseph Johnson of London, and was reprinted by Pandora Press in 1986. The novel was Edgeworth's second published, and was considered controversial in its day for its depiction of an interracial marriage.[2]

In its first (1801) and second (1802) editions, Juba, an African servant on a plantation in Jamaica, marries an English farm-girl named Lucy. But the third edition of the book, published in 1810, omits the character Juba, and instead has Lucy betrothed to one James Jackson. Also, in the first two editions, Belinda almost marries Mr. Vincent, a rich West Indian Creole; in the 1810 edition, Belinda only esteems him and never agrees to marry him. It has been argued that this change came at the insistence of Edgeworth's father, rather than the author herself, because he edited several of her works.[3]


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