{Library}Reflections on a Centenary - Maria Edgeworth 1849- 1949
As we went into the great entrance hall of the Manor, I was reminded of the perky robin redbreast whom Maria tells us, hopped in when the door was opened for his morning collation during a hard winter, but I was restless to see the library where most of Maria's work was accomplished, amongst her noisy, fun-loving sisters and brothers. There too, she entertained the great ones who came to pay homage to her. Alas! the beautiful Adam bookcases are empty now - their valuable treasures scattered, no one knows where, except for a fragment of them, which is happyily stored in St. Mel's College, Longford, but the President of the College told me that all the rare editions were disposed of before he learned that the library was for sale. Perhaps another Longford-Irish-American will endow this famous treasure-house with volumes old and new to entertain the future guests from the nerve-wrecking world outside. The Italian marble mantlepiece is as perfect as the day it was installed and since Maria 'needleed' by the fireside. Viewing the rest of the house I felt the deepest sympathy for the nuns who have to meet such colossal expenses, as dry-rot had seized much of the building in it's tentacles before they were given possession, and each of the thirty-eight rooms needs attention before the house will be habitable at all. Saying good-bye I booked Maria's little bedroom for the opening day, and when I got back to Dublin I bought a Sweep ticket for theDerby - nom-de-plume DAPPLE ( name of Maria's horse )which I hope will trot out of the drum.
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