This website uses a computer database to store and cross-reference information about each of Margaret Oliphant's fiction works.
The webpage for each fiction work includes a short introduction to the story. These brief summaries cannot do justice to the humour, subtlety, and irony which enrich the story lines so immeasurably. Critical analysis of Oliphant fiction can be found and appreciated in the biographies, critical works, and bibliographies listed below.
Biographical and critical sources
The biographical information on this site is drawn mainly from the following sources:
- Mrs Oliphant: 'A Fiction to Herself ', A Literary Life by Elisabeth Jay, Clarendon Press, 1995
- Margaret Oliphant: Critical Essays on a Gentle Subversive by DJ Trela, John Stock Clarke,
Margarete Rubik, Linda Peterson, Esther Schor, Joanne Shattock, Laurie Langbauer, Elisabeth Jay,
Dale Kramer, Merryn Williams; edited by DJ Trela, Susquehanna University Press, 1995
- The Novels of Mrs Oliphant, A Subversive View of Traditional Themes by Margarete Rubik,
Peter Lang Publishing, 1994
An indispensable aid in any "Oliphant Hunt" is the impressive Fiction Bibliography by John Stock Clarke. Scholars and Oliphant fans alike owe him an enormous debt for the many lost works he rediscovered, and for the detailed information provided for each work. This bibliography is the source for the complete list of Margaret Oliphant's fiction works and publishing information. In accordance with the Fiction Bibliography this site provides the actual year published, which is not always the same as the year on the book's title page; and in the case of serialised fiction, this site uses the year that the first installment appeared.
- The water colour portrait of Margaret Oliphant on the Homepage is a modern interpretation of her in her early thirties, painted by Janet Zeh. Prints can be ordered by contacting her.
- The banner across the top of all pages is a detail from a painting by Paul Sandby of Englefield Green (the fictional Dinglefield Green in the series Neighbours on the Green).
- The thistle background (wallpaper) is by William Morris, and was selected as a tribute to Margaret Oliphant's Scottish heritage.
About the site creator
I grew up in California and received my degree in Literature from the University of California, Berkeley; have had several enjoyable careers, in some cases while living in London; and am now retired in southern California.
As an avid reader of 19th century fiction, I had seen references to Mrs Oliphant, but had never come across her books. Then in the 1980s Virago Books began republishing her novels - and I (along with so many others) was immediately captivated - and amazed that such a gifted writer had nearly been forgotten. I read what Oliphant novels I could find; and later, armed with the Fiction Bibliography, was able to collect and now share all 176 known fiction works.
Contact the website
There is a Forum option at the top of each page for general comments or questions. Quick notes can be left, whether or not you join the Forum. Also our email is at the bottom of each webpage. Questions, corrections, and feedback are all welcome! If you would like to be notified when new subject matter is added to the site, please send us your name and email address, or check the Website Change Log.