Mental disturbances, 'a clouded mind'


Margaret Oliphant painted several compelling portraits of people who were mentally ill or suffering under other mental conditions. Portraits of madness include characters in Janet and in The Lily and the Thorn and its "sequel" Young Musgrave.

In Cousin Mary one of the characters goes into a catatonic state; and in The Heir Presumptive there is a fascinating example of a post-partum psychosis. Yet another condition depicted is that of a "clouded mind" - a dormant mind, never fully developed. Characters having this condition are in Salem Chapel, Innocent, and Valentine and His Brother.

Another condition depicted is that of a young man with mental challenges, Gervase in The Cuckoo in the Nest, who is bullied and labelled a "softy", and retaliates by becoming an alcoholic and marrying out of his class.

(See also a related theme, Depression.)


Salem Chapel
Novel1862
Innocent, a Tale of Modern Life
Novel1873
The Story of Valentine and his Brother
Novel1874
Young Musgrave
Novel1877
The Lily and the Thorn
Short Fiction1877
Cousin Mary
Novel1887
Janet   [The Story of a Governess]
Novel1890
The Heir Presumptive and the Heir Apparent
Novel1890
The Cuckoo in the Nest
Novel1891

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