The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow & Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamond

The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow & Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamond

Margaret Oliphant / Sep 17, 2019

The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamond Margaret Oliphant one of the outstanding writers of the nineteenth century was in her time as well known as Dickens George Eliot and Mrs Gaskell the exemplary woman of letters is how the l

  • Title: The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow & Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamond
  • Author: Margaret Oliphant
  • ISBN: 9781903155790
  • Page: 218
  • Format: Paperback
  • Margaret Oliphant 1828 97 , one of the outstanding writers of the nineteenth century, was in her time as well known as Dickens, George Eliot and Mrs Gaskell the exemplary woman of letters is how the literary critic Queenie Leavis described the author of Persephone Book No 89, The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow And the novelist Penelope Fitzgerald s claim was that Mrs OliMargaret Oliphant 1828 97 , one of the outstanding writers of the nineteenth century, was in her time as well known as Dickens, George Eliot and Mrs Gaskell the exemplary woman of letters is how the literary critic Queenie Leavis described the author of Persephone Book No 89, The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow And the novelist Penelope Fitzgerald s claim was that Mrs Oliphant is at her very best in novellas and short stories She suggested that two of them, The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow 1890 and Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamond 1886 , might well be reprinted together, which is what we have now done, and pointed out that the strongest theme running through all the books is that of the helpless man and the strong woman.Both novellas are about women left on their own to run their own households In one, Penelope Fitzgerald continues, Mrs Blencarrow, a conventional widow with a large estate, falls in love with her coarse mannered steward, and in the other the wife, Mrs Lycett Landon, finds out that her husband has made a bigamous marriage She has the other woman s address and resolutely sets out for the distant suburb, the street, the house What follows is tragifarce , as the author calls it, the most terrible of all, and she risks a conclusion that dies away into silence and echoes In one respect Mrs Oliphant s subjects were the staples of Victorian women s fiction money, wills, marriages, church and chapel, disgraceful relatives, family power struggles, quarrels, deathbeds, ghosts Yet, writes Dr Merryn Williams, who published a critical biography of Mrs Oliphant and has now written the Persephone Afterword for us The two novellas in this volume written in the late 1880s are surprisingly un Victorian Each ends, not with a marriage as is usual, but with the break up of a marriage Each is about the terribly destructive effects of middle aged passion As Mrs Oliphant herself said about the husband in Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamond, Mr Lycett Landon It seems as if they men must break out as if common life and duty become insupportable And as J.M Barrie wrote of this novella, It is as terrible and grim a picture of a man tired of fifty years of respectability as was ever written , adding, Mrs Oliphant wrote so many short stories that she forgot their names and what they were about, but readers, I think, will not soon forget this one , written by a woman who was of an intellect so alert that one wondered she ever fell asleep.

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      Posted by:Margaret Oliphant
      Published :2018-011-22T00:28:35+00:00

    About "Margaret Oliphant"

      • Margaret Oliphant

        Margaret Oliphant Wilson Oliphant n e Margaret Oliphant Wilson , was a Scottish novelist and historical writer, who usually wrote as Mrs Oliphant Her fictional works encompass domestic realism, the historical novel and tales of the supernatural.Margaret Oliphant was born at Wallyford, near Musselburgh, East Lothian, and spent her childhood at Lasswade near Dalkeith , Glasgow and Liverpool As a girl, she constantly experimented with writing In 1849 she had her first novel published Passages in the Life of Mrs Margaret Maitland which dealt with the Scottish Free Church movement It was followed by Caleb Field in 1851, the year in which she met the publisher William Blackwood in Edinburgh and was invited to contribute to the famous Blackwood s Magazine The connection was to last for her whole lifetime, during which she contributed well over 100 articles, including, a critique of the character of Arthur Dimmesdale in Nathaniel Hawthorne s The Scarlet Letter.


    116 Comments

    1. I’ve been aware of Mrs Oliphant for a long time, I was sure she would be my kind of author, but it’s taken me a while to start readingI have the books that Virago published, I have one or two others in older editions, and when I heard an radio adaption of one of the books in the Carlingford Chronicles at the very end of last year I was smitten.I resolved to start reading as soon as I had finished my journey through Trollope’s Barchester books.I didn’t stop to think that Mrs Oliphant was [...]


    2. Two brilliant novellas! Both dramatic, interesting, and playing with the themes and conventions of Victorian literature and society. I will definitely be reading more by Margaret Oliphant.


    3. ‘The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow’ is a Victorian Melodrama for those who get frustrated and ask what the characters are playing at.It’s a mature, measured novella where characters make difficult decisions based on their own feelings but also regarding other people. This is because the two main characters are both middle-aged, experienced and not merely dumb teenagers. They contrast to Mrs Blencarrow and Mystery Man are Kitty and Walter, who are dumb teenagers (but, we learn, grow up to becom [...]


    4. This book is actually a collection of two novellas written by Margaret Oliphant in the late 1880's, which puts them squarely in the Victorian era. The expected ending of novels, at this time, was a marriage and happy family, but these two works rebuff such convention. In fact, the main characters in both of Mrs. Oliphant's stories are strong, loving, complicated women who are faced with very difficult situations that do not end happily at all.In the first novella, THE MYSTERY OF MRS BLENCARROW, [...]


    5. Mrs Oliphant (1828-97), one of the outstanding writers of the nineteenth century, was in her time as well-known as Dickens, George Eliot and Mrs Gaskell: ‘the exemplary woman of letters’ is how the literary critic Queenie Leavis described her. And the novelist Penelope Fitzgerald's claim was that ‘Mrs Oliphant is at her very best in novellas and short stories.’ She suggested that two of them, The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow (1890) and Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamond (1886), might well be r [...]


    6. I have heard of Mrs. Oliphant for years, but never read any of her work - one of the most prolific authors of the 19th century, she rather feverishly wrote hundreds of articles, short stories, novellas, and full-length novels, motivated in a big way by the death of her husband and the need to support her family as a single mother. By all accounts she was highly regarded by notables including Charles Dickens, but perhaps not for these two offerings. Both were highly predictable, and Blencarrow in [...]


    7. Both the novellas in this book run along similar lines. The women are the stonger characters and drive the narrative, the men who are cause of their problems, have a lesser role, are weaker and less reliable.Considering their themes of broken marriages, these novellas seem very un-Victorian like. Victorian society rules touch both central female characters: In the title novella, society is a harsh critic of Mrs Blencarrow when rumours of her secret marriage begin the circulate. In the second, Mr [...]


    8. Two novellas, revealing a lot about Victorian domestic life. Mrs Blencarrow is a respectable widow whose dark secret is revealed (but without the melodrama you might expect). Eleanor's husband has been increasingly often absent from home - until one day he doesn't come back. This is a surprisingly realistic tale, made more effective by its deliberate lack of drama. (Like life, really; that's the point.)


    9. Margaret Oliphant was a Scottish Victorian author whom I discovered when I moved to Glasgow. This book was a collection of short stories. I have yet to read one of her full length novels, but her short stories are very gripping - full of (usually) sad or haunted characters whose lives, though ordinary are at the same time intriguing and eventful. I really love her style, her stories and characters.


    10. The 'mysteries' weren't hard to guess, but were perhaps a lot more shocking to a contemporary readership. That makes the composed, grown-up, modern way the plots and protagonists are treated extremely impressive


    11. I loved these two novellas which have a lot in common. Despite the titles, 'The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow' is not a murder mystery and 'Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamond' is not historical. Both are about hidden secrets and both show middle-aged Victorian women acting in strong and unexpected ways.




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