a convergence of tea time thoughts for ladies

Miss Marjoribanks


I like Victorian novels especially  because the culture time period is so completely  different from  what we have  today, like this book- Miss Marjoribanks.   She’s Lucilla ( I still don’t know how this is pronounced) and she starts out as 15, reappears at 19 and then 29 years old at the end of the book.

At 19 years old she has a Thursday evening get together every week that includes a dinner and then socializing afterwards with some singing at the piano.  This weekly event is not for young people of her town only since she doesn’t believe in that, so a well rounded gathering of married couples, single older adults and younger singles are brought together. 

The writer, Mrs. Margaret  Oliphant, uses typical writing techniques for her time period- long drawn out descriptions and eloquent  phrasing which is sometimes tedious, but  for the most part it fits perfectly and is very descriptive in an elegant way.

This author like many others puts in pieces of their own  life in the books they write.  Margaret (the author) in real life had a cousin named Tom (her husbands brother)  and a brother named Willie which are both in this book.  Below is an older portrait of her.


She was mostly homeschooled by her mother and of Scottish descent.  When she was 24 she married Frank Oliphant, her cousin.  It seems so strange – cousins marrying, yet is was common way back when and maybe still goes on.   Her husband died 7 yrs later of tuberculosis while she was with child.

There’s one more book to continue the story of Miss Marjoribanks; Phoebe Junior published 10 yrs later.  According to Wikipedia, there were the following 6 books on Carlingford where Lucilla lived.

The ending to this book was a surprise.  I hope the local library sends me Phoebe Junior before winter is over.

I’m looking forward to reading more of Margaret Oliphant’s books in the future since this was the first one of her 60 or so novels I started on.


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