History of Ned Evans
This 1796 novel is an important example of early political writing by a woman. Although ostensibly a romance, the novel was one of the first to engage directly with the radical politics of Ireland in the 1790s. Ned Evans is a rags-to-riches hero, whose early existence in poverty in Wales is dramatically changed when he saves the beautiful Lady Cecilia Rivers from an assault and is invited to Ireland by her father. After spending time with the great and the good of Irish society, Evans travels to America where his fortunes once more reverse and he is captured and enslaved by American Indians, before escaping back to Ireland. There his aristocratic Irish roots are finally identified, allowing him and Cecilia to marry. Evans's subsequent transformation of his estate into a United Irish haven of peace and harmony would have been strikingly at odds with the realities of the day, and shows the author's strong sympathy for the United Irish cause.
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