Miss Marjoribanks is a brilliantly written, classic novel, undeservedly overlooked by readers and critics for a long time. Its protagonist, Lucilla Marjoribanks, deserves to be mentioned in line with the best comic heroines, Jane Austen's Emma Woodhouse among them.
Miss Marjoribanks, armed with a natural born good sense and the useful knowledge of political economy acquired in the school Mount Pleasant, sets forth for her hometown, Carlingford. Her aim is "to be a comfort to poor papa", the widowed doctor and to conquer and reform society with perfect goodwill, good intentions and with much talent, with well-wishers and antagonists, expected or unexpected suitors, & etc on the way.
The story is told with a most delightful irony capturing society and the different characters with subtlety and insight. Mrs Oliphant is more than a match to Anthony Trollope, George Elliot or Charles Dickens and it is a shame she should go unmerited.