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Melissa Edmundson

Throughout the nineteenth century, the term ‘uncomfortable houses’ was used to describe properties where restless spirits made life unpleasant for any living persons who tried to claim these supernatural residences as their own. This article uses the idea of ‘uncomfortable houses’ to examine how this ghostly discomfort related to larger cultural issues of economics and class in Victorian Britain. Authors such as Charlotte Riddell and Margaret Oliphant used the haunted house story as a means of social critique which commented on the financial problems facing many lower- and middle-class Victorians. Their stories focus on the moral development of the protagonists and reconciliation through the figure of the ghost, ultimately giving readers the happy endings that many male-authored ghost stories lack. Riddell‘s ‘The Old House in Vauxhall Walk’ and ‘Walnut-Tree House’ and Oliphant‘s ‘The Open Door’ serve as important examples of this ‘suburban Gothic’ literature.

Gothic Studies
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M. R. James at the Edge of the Frame
Scott Brewster

This article examines the effects of distracted sight, peripheral objects and hazily-perceived images in the ghost stories of M. R. James. It argues that the uncanny illumination produced by the accidental glance in his tales bears affinity with many Gothic narratives, including those of E. T. A. Hoffmann and Margaret Oliphant. James‘s work has often solicited only a casual look from critics, yet his exploration of the haunted edge of vision not only grants his work a hitherto neglected complexity, but also places him firmly within the Gothic tradition.

Gothic Studies
Emma Liggins

her to Lloyd, another member of the free-spirited and unconventional artistic communities in Florence and Rome which also included the Brownings and a young Vernon Lee. As Sally Mitchell points out, these friendships forged in Italy ‘introduced her into networks of independent and activist women that showed how she might find both significant work and a rewarding personal life outside the family sphere’.68 The harrowing experiences of widowhood recorded in the fragmented 1899 autobiography of another mid-Victorian woman writer, Margaret Oliphant, offer a much more

in Odd women?
Reconfiguring spinsterhood and the Victorian family in inter- war women’s writing
Emma Liggins

the world of paid work. 165 166 Textual legacies The Brontë myth and mid-​Victorian reticence Stoneman has noted how many Victorian and modernist female novelists followed Gaskell in writing critical or biographical commentaries on the Brontës as part of the process of coming to terms with the authors, their texts and the ‘combined prominence and ambiguity of the Brontë inheritance’ (1996: 78). In an assessment of Victorian women novelists in 1897, Margaret Oliphant’s admiration for the innovative depictions of ‘the longing, the discontent […] involved in that

in Charlotte Brontë
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Andrew Smith

and the Comic Turn (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2005 ). 13 Although a broad range of authors are discussed in this study, there are some notable omissions due to space, including Oliver Onions, Margaret Oliphant, Walter de la Mare, and Algernon Blackwood.

in The ghost story, 1840–1920
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Helena Ifill

Wife to address particular social grievances; Margaret Oliphant found Man and Wife to be the most ‘distinctly didactic’ of Collins’s novels up to that point.3 The social-​purpose novel was by no means a new creation; earlier examples include Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton (1848) and Charles Dickens’s Hard Times (1854). The Westminster Review described ‘novels with a purpose’ as ones in which the author wrote ‘not because he or she felt inspired to tell a story, but because certain meditations, or convictions, or doubts, on some subject connected with human society

in Creating character
The female ghost story
Andrew Smith

Woolf, and it is the culture of spiritualism and the issues that it raises about narrative decoding which is the subject of the following chapter. 48 Notes 1 A notable omission here, because of space, is the work of Margaret Oliphant. In particular see her ‘The Library Window’ (1896) in A Beleaguered City and Other

in The ghost story, 1840–1920
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Susan Civale

Wanderer (1814); Percy Bysshe Shelley’s allusion to her in Laon and Cyntha (1817); periodical essays Introduction 15 by mid-Victorian critics such as George Eliot, Eliza Lynn Linton and Ann Mozley; entries in group biographies written by women such as Mary Pilkington, Mary Mathilda Betham and Anne Katharine Elwood; Charles Kegan Paul’s book-length biography William Godwin, His Friends and Contemporaries (1876); fin de siè cle reconsiderations of Wollstonecraft by Margaret Oliphant, Mathilde Blind and Elizabeth Robins Pennell; and first-wave feminist appropriations of

in Romantic women’s life writing
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Marlow, realism, hermeneutics
Paul Wake

storytelling,’ Blackwood’s had published many of the great Victorian novelists, including George Eliot, Margaret Oliphant, James Hogg and Anthony Trollope.3 Conrad would join this illustrious list of names when he became a regular contributor after the success of ‘Youth’, which David Meldrum, Blackwood’s literary editor, described as 2 Conrad’s Marlow ‘the most notable book we have published since George Eliot’.4 Marlow continued to feature in Blackwood’s which serialised both Heart of Darkness, the first instalment of which appeared as ‘The Heart of Darkness’ in its

in Conrad’s Marlow
Berny Sèbe

powers such as Japan, Belgium or the United States. 23 Steevens never worked again with Methuen; on the recommendation of the novelist Margaret Oliphant, the widow of the author, traveller and mystic Laurence Oliphant, he approached in April 1896 William Blackwood (known as William Blackwood III in the firm’s history), editor of Blackwood’s Magazine

in Heroic imperialists in Africa