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OLIPHANT: The Correspondence and Literary Manuscripts of Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897) from the National Library of Scotland

This is the largest surviving collection of Margaret Oliphant’s manuscripts. We include over 25 volumes of her correspondence, 4 volumes of her diaries, the complete text of her manuscript Reminiscences (sections of which were later published as her Autobiography), and a number of key literary manuscripts such as the holograph version of her first work - Margaret Maitland.

Among the correspondents are Thomas & Jane Welsh Carlyle, Thomas Chalmers, Sir Henry Craik, Geraldine Jewsbury, Anna, Lady Ritchie and Sir Walter Scott. More revealing than all of these, is her correspondence with John and William Blackwood, her main publishers, who supported her throughout her career. There are also many family letters.

These sources help to provide a rounded picture of Margaret Oliphant as a writer, as head of the household after the death of her husband when she was only 31, and as a mother. They portray a life punctuated with death and debt, in which her family and her writing were her only real respite.

This collection is an important source for literature, women's studies and gender studies, as well as being an interesting insight into the Victorian age. 



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