9781851966097

The Selected Works of Margaret Oliphant, Part III: Novellas and Shorter Fiction, Essays on Life-Writing and History, Essays on European Literature and Culture

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  • ISBN13:

    9781851966097

  • ISBN10:

    1851966099

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-06-01
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Summary

Margaret Oliphant Wilson Oliphant (1828-97) had a wide-ranging and prolific literary career that spanned almost fifty years. She wrote some 98 novels, over fifty short stories, twenty-five works of non-fiction, including biographies and historic guides to European cities, and more than three hundred periodical articles. As the self-styled 'general utility woman' for Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, often contributing both fiction and literary reviews to the same issue, she became a major critical voice for her generation. Her influence, usually cast on the side of 'the common reader', was such that it provoked fellow novelists such as Anthony Trollope, Henry James and Thomas Hardy to savage fictional portraits by way of retaliation. The scholarly interest that her work now receives is hampered by difficulty in accessing the full range of her oeuvre: whilst her most famous fictional series, 'The Chronicles of Carlingford', together with a handful of her tales of the supernatural, have gone in and out of print in recent years, the bulk of her fiction and critical writing remains uncollected. This is the most ambitious scholarly critical edition of Oliphant's work ever undertaken. The sheer scale of her output has meant that selection is essential, but the edition aims to convey the range and variety of her work in both fiction and non-fictional genres. It will bring together for the first time her critical writing and other journalism for Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, the Spectator, the St James's Gazette, as well as her articles in the Contemporary Review, the Edinburgh, and Macmillan's Magazine. Much of her fiction, including full length novels, short stories and novellas, was first published in periodicals: in Blackwood's, the Cornhill, Longman's Magazine, Macmillan's, and Good Words. Few of her manuscripts survive, but substantive textual work remains to be done on the editorial changes made between periodical serialization and first appearance in volume form. The edition will place particular emphasis on her shorter fiction, much of which will be reprinted for the first time, and on her work as a biographer, historian, and literary historian.

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