Sarah Peters's Reviews > Miss Marjoribanks

Miss Marjoribanks by Mrs. Oliphant
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's review
Oct 17, 2011

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Read from October 17 to 28, 2011

Oliphant’s Miss Marjoribanks follows Lucilla Marjoribanks on her quest to become the reigning monarch-figure of the small English country town of Carlingford. Oliphant represents English Victorian society in a heavily sarcastic, mock-heroic manner, and pokes fun at the preoccupation with the importance of domestic duties put on women. Lucilla is queen of domestic arts, and Carlingford is her kingdom. Through the third person narration, Oliphant does a good job of implying there is more going on beneath the surface than is being shown explicitly; Lucilla is constantly referred to as a domestic genius, a monarch, magnanimous, etc., and is constantly stating how sure she is about what she wants out of life, but through describing physical reactions and implying there’s more going on under the surface of Lucilla than even she is aware of, Oliphant takes the reader into the psychology of the character, and helps us better understand her motivations; which is something I would like to try in my writing.
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