Margaret Oliphant

(Margaret Wilson)

1828 - 1897

Prodigious author. Born Margaret Wilson in Wallyford in East Lothian, Oliphant was brought up in Lasswade, Glasgow and Liverpool. She had written the first of almost 100 books by the time she was 16.

She married her cousin Francis Wilson Oliphant, a noted stained-glass artist, at Birkenhead in 1852 and the couple moved to London. However, his health was weak and they moved to Italy in 1859, where he died. She wrote novels, and later historical works, to support her family. A daughter died five years later and Oliphant returned to Britain in 1866.

Her works included Passages in the Life of Margaret Maitland (1849), her first novel; Scottish novels such as Katie Stewart, a true story (1853) and Effie Ogilvie (1886); The Chronicles of Carlingford which included Salem Chapel (1863) and Miss Marjoribanks (1866); A Beleaguered City (1879), A Country Gentleman and his Family (1886) and Kirsteen (1890), together with A Literary History of Scotland (1882) and biographies, including one of preacher Edward Irving (1792 -1834). She was also a regular contributor to Blackwood's Magazine.

A prolific and respected authoress, he was reputed to be Queen Victoria's favourite novelist. She died in Wimbledon (South London), all of her children having died before her.

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