"...the Doctor's daughter was not a mild young lady, easy to be controlled; but, on the contrary, had all the energy and determination to have her own way ... Lucilla felt more and more that she who held the reorganisation of society in Carlingford in her hands was a woman with a mission."
In such work as hers, a skillful leader is always on the outlook for auxiliaries; and there are circumstances in which a nice clergyman is almost as useful to the lady of the house as a man who can flirt.
For everybody knows that it requires very little to satisfy the gentlemen, if a woman will only give her mind to it."
...(she) had been brought up in the old-fashioned orthodox way of having a great respect for religion, and as little to do with it as possible...
"I don't see the good of single women," said Lucilla, "unless they are awfully rich..."I ended up really liking Miss Marjoribanks. There's one sad thing that occurs in the second half of this book, but overall this classic novel not only made me smile, but on several occasions, it actually made me laugh out loud. I got the definite feeling that Oliphant was poking fun of Victorian society with Lucilla's egocentric yet "magnanimous" views of society and Carlingford's submission to this determined heroine, which is why I'm counting this book as my Humorous or Satirical Classic for Karen's Back to the Classics Challenge.
I've been meaning to try Mrs Oliphant's books for ages, and your lovely review is definitely encouraging me to pick up my copy. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I hope it makes you smile like it did me.Delete
This sounds delightful! I will add it to my list of classics to try. It's so seldom I come across classics that aren't, well, gloomy. Or melodramatic. Or otherwise depressing. The slightly sardonic humor in these excerpts is wonderful.ReplyDelete
These little wry comments are sprinkled throughout the novel; and Lucilla ended up being a pretty funny character. You can't take anything in this novel too seriously.Delete
I enjoyed your review. I am not familiar with Margaret Oliphant's work, but I'm adding her to my list.ReplyDelete
This is the only book of hers that I've read, but I did end up liking it. I'd give her a try again.Delete
This was my introduction to Margaret Oliphant, & I loved it from the very first page. Lucilla also reminds me of Georgette Heyer's The Grand Sophy. The other Chronicles of Carlingford are enjoyable, but none measures up to this one.ReplyDelete
It's definitely Lucilla that makes this book so humorous. It was a nice surprise.Delete
I haven't read anything by Oliphant, but even your review made me smile. I can deal with one sad thing, especially if the rest of the novel is humorous.ReplyDelete
And the sad thing isn't crushing...it does dampen Lucilla's spirits for a short while, but she doesn't stay down for long. And it ends well.Delete
You are always reading classics I have never even heard of! Do you work from some sort of list or do you just know more than I do?? :)ReplyDelete
Truth? I had never heard of this book either until I read about it on someone's blog last year. And it sounded like a book I might like, so I bought a used copy from Powells. There are a lot of people out there more familiar with the classics than me...I'm just trying to catch up. :)Delete
A classic to make me smile? Resembling The Grand Sophy? Bring it on! I also had never heard of this one (or very fleetingly) so I'm glad you brought it to my attention.ReplyDelete
I was not familiar with Oliphant's writing until I read a blog review about this particular novel, but I'm really glad I read it. I thought it was fun.Delete