It is hard not to begin an article about Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897) without referring to her famous prolificacy, as she produced over 120 works of fiction and non-fiction in her lifetime, making even Anthony Trollope look like a layabout. Oliphant was amongst those early British women writers who managed to make a living from their writing, although in Oliphant’s case, following the death of her husband in 1859, it was more a matter of survival for her and her children. There was a revival of interest in Oliphant’s work, which had fallen into obscurity, towards the end of the 20th century, seeing the republication of a number of her books – OUP’s Oxford World Classics edition of her 1883 novel, Hester, describes Oliphant as “one of the great Victorian novelists.”

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