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Margaret Oliphant (1828-97) was a prolific Scots writer, author of over 100 books and innumerable articles. Early widowed, she was compelled to write for a living. She is best remembered for her 'Chronicles of Carlingford' series, which is set in a quiet country town near London. Religious themes predominate but the books are sharp and humorous. Elisabeth Jay has written a critical 'Biography of Margaret Oliphant' and edited Gaskell's 'Life of Charlotte Bronte' for Penguin Classics.