Widows


In Margaret Oliphant's works, widows are usually strong and active people. They are sometimes young, they may have dependants, they often face great difficulties;  and while still in mourning, they learn a bitter lesson - that they can only rely on themselves.

In several novels the widow had loved her husband, but found the relationship difficult;  and in some, such as Agnes and A Country Gentleman, she becomes aware of a feeling of freedom, often against her own conception of what is owing to the newly-dead husband:  " . . . a feeling of freedom, though she had never desired to be free; a faint consciousness, unexpressed even to herself, that her plans would no longer be thwarted nor her wishes come to nothing." (Agnes.)

Mrs Oliphant herself was widowed at age 31, with three small children. This selection includes widows who are the central character, or important to the story line.


The Melvilles
Novel1852
Eben, a True Story
Short Fiction1857
The Laird of Norlaw, a Scottish Story
Novel1858
Agnes
Novel1865
Madonna Mary
Novel1866
The Minister's Wife
Novel1869
The Three Brothers
Novel1869
The Two Mrs Scudamores
Short Fiction1871
At His Gates
Novel1872
The Two Marys
Novel1872
Innocent, a Tale of Modern Life
Novel1873
He that Will Not When He May
Novel1879
A Country Gentleman and His Family
Novel1885
The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow
Novel1889
From London to Edinburgh, a Sentimental Journey
Short Fiction1890
The Marriage of Elinor
Novel1891
Lady William
Novel1891
The Cuckoo in the Nest
Novel1891
A Widow's Tale
Short Fiction1893
Who Was Lost and Is Found
Novel1894

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