Miss Marjoribanks

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Miss Marjoribanks is an 1866 novel by Margaret Oliphant. It was first published in serialised form in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine from February 1865. It follows the exploits of its heroine, Lucilla Marjoribanks, as she schemes to improve the social life of the provincial English town of Carlingford.


  • Miss Lucilla Marjoribanks (Pronounced March-Banks) – The heroine of the story. She aspires to make her papa happy and finds the idea of courting to be unimportant at this moment in her life.
  • Dr. Marjoribanks – Lucilla's father. He sent her away after her mother's death because she was trying too hard to attend to his needs and smothering him. When she returned he found her pushy, but allowed her to take charge and appears most often chuckling at her antics and being proud of her success in society.
  • Tom Marjoribanks – Lucilla's cousin on her father's side. They grew up in each other's company. He loves Lucilla.
  • Mr. Cavendish – The only man capable of flirting at parties.
  • Nancy – Dr. Marjoribanks cook. Sometimes competes with Lucilla for authority in the house. Usually fails.
  • Barbra Lake – Has the perfect singing voice to compliment Lucilla. Is taken in by Lucilla.
  • Rose Lake – Barbra's younger sister. Works at the school of design. Takes art very seriously. Preraphaelite.
  • Mr. Lake – drawing master of the town. Widower. Many young children left in his care. Blissfully ignorant of his daughter's affairs.
  • Mrs. Centum.
  • Mrs. Woodburn – Enjoys imitation. Sister to Mr. Cavendish. Not very social.
  • Mrs. Chiley – Old. Married to Colonel. No children. Takes a motherly role for Lucilla and becomes a confidant.
  • Miss Martha Blount – Miss Marjoribanks school teacher.
  • Ellis – Mrs. Marjoribanks handmaiden.
  • Mr. Bury – Parishioner.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jay, Elisabeth (1998). Introduction to Miss Marjoribanks. London: Penguin.
  • Leavis, Q.D. (1966). Introduction to Miss Marjoribanks. London: The Zodiac Press.
  • Robinson, Amy J. (2008). "Margaret Oliphant's Miss Marjoribanks: A Victorian Emma," Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal, Vol. 30.
  • Schaub, Melissa (2000). "Queen of the Air or Constitutional Monarch?: Idealism, Irony, and Narrative Power in Miss Marjoribanks," Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 195–225.
  • Tange, Andrea Kaston (2008). "Redesigning Femininity: Miss Marjoribanks's Drawing-room of Opportunity," Victorian Literature and Culture, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp 163–186.

External links[edit]