Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review - The Shape of Fear and Other Ghostly Tales

Review from The Bookman, Volume 8
September 1898 - February 1899, p 492

The Shape of Fear and Other Ghostly Tales
by Mrs. Elia Peattie

Aunt Ann's Ghost Story

Aunt Ann's Ghost Story
by Laurence Oliphant
First published in 1864

A ghost story set in Ukraine. Click on the title to go to a downloadable version at Google Books.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Open Door - A Ghost Story

The Open Door
by Margaret Oliphant

The link in the title above will take you to The Open Door by Margaret Oliphant as it was published in Great Ghost Stories, Selected by Joseph Lewis French, published in 1918.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Verdict of Old Age

The Verdict of Old Age
by Margaret Oliphant
Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine
Vol. 160, October 1896, pp 555-571

The link on the title above will take you to the first page of the article by Margaret Oliphant at Google Books.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Modern Novelists - Great and Small (1855)

Modern Novelists - Great and Small
by Margaret Oliphant
Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine
Vol 77, May 1855, pp 554-563

Mrs. Oliphant discusses novelists of the day, providing insight into her own methods of writing novels.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Review - The Squire's Daughter

The Squire's Daughter
by Archibald Marshall
First published in 1912

The Squire's Daughter is the first book in a series known as the Clinton Family Chronicles by Archibald Marshall (1866-1934). Reviews contemporaneous with the publication of his novels compared Marshall with Anthony Trollope, and from what I have read so far, I find the comparison apt. I don't understand why this series has fallen into obscurity.

Squire Edward Clinton lives at his country home of Kencote with his wife, his daughter Cecily, and twin daughters of 13 Joan and Nancy. Four grown sons, Dick, Humphrey, Walter and Frank, live away from home. Cecily, age 22, is restless living in the country, although she cannot define what would cure of her restlessness. She chafes at her father's restrictions on the women of his household, feeling that her brothers have had more liberal treatment and better education. Brother Walter, who is about to be married, has defied his father's wishes and become a doctor, rather than becoming a clergyman.

The characters are wonderfully drawn. Even the Squire is a sympathetic fellow whom one cannot help liking, despite his foibles. This is a delightful novel and recommended to all who have enjoyed Trollope's Barchester Chronicles, Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford, and Mrs. Oliphant's Carlingford Chronicles.

The Haunted House - by Charles Dickens

From Sensation Novels by Mrs. Oliphant, Blackwood's Magazine, Vol 91, pages 564-584, 1862:

"Of all the productions of the supernatural school, there is none more perfect in its power of sensation, or more entirely affective in its working out, than the short story of the 'Haunted House,' most thrilling of ghostly tales . . . "

The Haunted House
page 329 of The Commercial Traveller and The Haunted House
by Charles Dickens

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Archibald Marshall

Archibald Marshall (1866-1934)

Archibald Marshall wrote a series of novels which sounds promising. The series was mentioned in an article by Maurice Francis Egan, The Return to the Quiet Novel, published in the Bookman, Volume 54, page 17. After discussing how many in England during World War I sought refuge in the novels of Anthony Trollope, Mrs. Oliphant and Mrs. Gaskell, Egan tells how he was made acquainted with a series of novels by Archibald Marshall. Although I have not read them, I have downloaded the following and offer the titles here with links to the downloadable (free) editions at Google Books.

The Squire's Daughter
The Eldest Son
The Honor of the Clintons
The Old Order Changeth
The Clintons and Others

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rainbows from tears

I came across an image in one of Mrs. Oliphant's poems today that greatly appealed to me. The poem is "The Shadow on the Way" published in Blackwood's Magazine in June 1853. Mrs. Oliphant would have been 25 years old when it was published. The poem indicates that she had already experienced sadness and grief, but at 25 she was able to say:

Yet sometimes clouds, a frowning line
Will steal across those kindly skies;
And now and then some tears of mine,
Under this fair and soft sunshine,
Make rainbows to mine eyes.