The overlapping categories of theft, forgery, and embezzlement are common themes in Victorian fiction. Margaret Oliphant wrote of these crimes in two contexts: one being of the swindler who steals on a grand scale from his shareholders and others; the other being of the individual who steals from his employer or family.
Mrs Oliphant had bitter experience of this second category: her brother Frank, in middle-age, embezzled a considerable sum of money from his employer; and it is very likely that her other brother, Willie, had stolen money from an employer many years earlier.
The stories included below, though not always centered on the theft, reflect the impact of having a husband, father, brother, or son who has committed this crime. But there is one exception: the light-hearted Strange Adventures of John Percival features a female thief!