Belinda (Oxford World's Classics) - Maria Edgeworth

Belinda was written in a time when most people thought that young women reading books is a waste of time.


Jane Austen mocked this notion in Northanger Abbey  and so does Edgeworth but in less noticeable way.


Most important thing about Belinda is that it isn't a novel, it's a moral tale. As such Belinda, our heroine, is intentionally Mary Sue and the story suffers for it. That's said the story is interesting enough and Edgeworth's talent shows. One could only wish she wouldn't had well intending father who gave her useless writing advices. It was him who encouraged Edgeworth to write moral tales and not novels.

And I would highly recommend Moore's  How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate the real story behind Clarence Hervey and Virginia.