Forgotten Classics and Other Lesser Known Books (or No One Has Read this but Me!) discussion

The Doctor's Family (Chronicles of Carlingford, #2)
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2018 Forgotten Books Selections > 6/18 The Doctor's Family by Margaret Oliphant

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Danada Margaret Oliphant was a Scottish novelist and historical writer, who usually wrote as Mrs. Oliphant. Her fictional works encompass "domestic realism, the historical novel and tales of the supernatural." She was extremely popular and wrote more than 120 works! Interest in Mrs Oliphant's work declined in the 20th century until the mid-1980s when a small-scale revival centered on the Chronicles of Carlingford. This witty and popular series, set in the delightful country town of Carlingford, was inspired by Anthony Trollope's Barsetshire series, and yet has a content and style all Margaret Oliphant's own.

"Carlingford is geographically non-specific, and its layout unclear, but its society vividly imagined and skilfully conveyed. Her characters feel real – their loves and lives are tempered with practical considerations and their choices are morally complex. This means that this is certainly not escapist fiction, however chocolate box Carlingford may first appear. Nor is it fast-paced and high drama, groundbreaking in its style and subject matter. Yet Oliphant is a confident writer, who does what she does with conviction and so commands attention. These stories are best described as ‘thoughtful’ and they are best read thoughtfully."--link to source

In June we are scheduled to read The Doctor's Family which is the first novel in the series. There are two short stories that fall before this first novel, The Executor and The Rector.

There is a great website for all Mrs. Oliphant's fiction: The Margaret Oliphant Fiction Collection. You can find the entire Chronicles of Carlingford Series available free online through the website.

There are print copies available for sale as well as digital versions you can download in addition to the online versions. Hopefully local libraries will also have copies!

Happy reading!

I've finished The Executor and am moving on to The Rector, but I don't think you need to read them before diving in unless you want to.


message 2: by carissa (new)

carissa Waiting for my library hold to arrive...then i will join you!


message 3: by Cordelia (new)

Cordelia (anne21) I'm also waiting on my library copy.


Carol (carolfromnc) Thanks, Danada, for a wonderful introduction. I may not get to join until mid-month but I’m looking forward to reading this novel.


message 5: by Christopher (new) - added it

Christopher (Donut) | 33 comments https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...

I will do my best to participate.


message 6: by Danada (last edited May 30, 2018 08:55AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Danada I look forward to reading and discussing with all of you ^_^


message 7: by Danada (last edited Jun 04, 2018 07:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Danada I've finished The Executor and The Rector and just finished chapter 1 of The Doctor's Family.

I can now officially say that I a fan of Mrs. Oliphant. :D


Danada How are we doing with the book? Anyone else have a chance to read it?

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series :)


Carol (carolfromnc) @Danada - I'm sorry I bit off more than I could chew, or read, as it were, so far this month. I'm still hoping to get to this. It's on my iPad ready to go ... just need to finish 3 others first. ..


Danada no worries :)

So many books, so little time!


message 11: by Cordelia (new)

Cordelia (anne21) Sorry Danada. I wont be able to read this one with you. The library cant find their copy.


message 12: by Carol (new) - rated it 1 star

Carol (carolfromnc) Cordelia wrote: "Sorry Danada. I wont be able to read this one with you. The library cant find their copy."

Okay. That’s funny.

No pressure but it’s free on Kindle, and rather short-ish. :)


message 13: by Cordelia (new)

Cordelia (anne21) THanks Carol. But my eyes are no good at electronic reading.


message 14: by Carol (new) - rated it 1 star

Carol (carolfromnc) Cordelia wrote: "THanks Carol. But my eyes are no good at electronic reading."

Totally understood.


Danada :D

I went up to the old Dewey Collection at my Library and found an extra copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn not accounted for in the catalogue :laughing:

Library books are amazingly difficult to keep track of :D


message 16: by Cordelia (new)

Cordelia (anne21) Danada wrote: ":D

I went up to the old Dewey Collection at my Library and found an extra copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn not accounted for in the catalogue :laughing:

Library books are amazingly ..."


especially old books like these ones. Probably put into a warehouse somewhere and not asked for for years.


message 17: by carissa (new)

carissa Mine has been in-transit for 2 weeks. Unheard of! Maybe it's making a slow journey through actual time? As soon as it arrives, I will begin reading.


message 18: by Christopher (new) - added it

Christopher (Donut) | 33 comments Librarian totally unprepared for the great Margaret Oliphant revival of 2018.


message 19: by Carol (new) - rated it 1 star

Carol (carolfromnc) carissa wrote: "Mine has been in-transit for 2 weeks. Unheard of! Maybe it's making a slow journey through actual time? As soon as it arrives, I will begin reading."

At each transit point, the person in charge is watching the World Cup....


Danada :laughing:


message 21: by carissa (new)

carissa Christopher and Carol...yup!
I got a notification that it's now available for pick-up. Yay!


Danada Yay!


message 23: by Kerri (new)

Kerri | 49 comments I have it pulled up on my phone with the website that was given (thank you!) but I doubt I’ll be able to get to it anytime soon :( Work has been crazy busy lately, I’m training someone new, and I am behind on one of my reading goals (TBRs to read this year) so those are coming first. Oops.
But I hope to be able to join you all because it looks really interesting! Happy readings!


message 24: by Carol (last edited Jun 25, 2018 07:34PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Carol (carolfromnc) I am DNFing the Doctor tonight. I apologize for ditching it at the 17% mark, but Oliphant’s writing is like nails on a chalkboard for me. I’m glad I’m in the minority on this novel. I’ll be back for our July read.


Danada I'm sorry you disliked the writing :(

I did find the style of each of the first three stories very different from each other and I've heard the next one is also different in style.
Perhaps, if another of her novels or stories grabs your interest, you might try again and find it a completely different experience. Of course there are a lot of things to read and little time to read them! :)

Hopefully you are reading something much more enjoyable now!


Danada Kerri wrote: ".....Happy readings!"

Happy reading!


message 27: by Carol (new) - rated it 1 star

Carol (carolfromnc) Danada wrote: "I'm sorry you disliked the writing :(

I did find the style of each of the first three stories very different from each other and I've heard the next one is also different in style.
Perhaps, if an..."


That’s both interesting and unexpected, Danada. Thanks for the tip — I likely will give another one a shot then.


message 28: by carissa (last edited Jun 30, 2018 10:48PM) (new)

carissa I read The Rector last night. It is placed fist in the book I got (a Virago Classic edition). The intro explains the placement choice was based on the character or something that happens in The Rector figuring into something to do with the plot of The Doctor's Family.

It was good and funny, but for my modern mind it was a bit of a slog. Not enough that I won't attempt The Doctor's Family this weekend! Nix that...too predictable. I've got other things I want to read more right now...


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