Margaret Oliphant Wilson Oliphant (1828-1897), Novelist and biographer
Sitter in 3 portraits
The Scottish-born writer was a prolific novelist who worked primarily to support an extended household after the death of her husband, Frank, an artist. She produced a series of popular titles of which the four Chronicles of Carlingford (1862-65, 1876) are the best known. She also contributed a series of articles on autobiographies for Blackwoods magazine during the 1880s. Unlike Harriet Martineau, whose Autobiography she criticised, Oliphant considered her own professional success as secondary to her domestic responsibilities. As a consequence, her autobiography is intimate and personal. Initially intended for her children, its eventual publication was motivated by financial necessity.