47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
wonderful nineteenth century classic,
By A Customer
This review is from: Miss Marjoribanks (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
The indomitable Lucilla Marjoribanks is one of the best nineteenth century heroines you're ever likely to encounter. This humane and humorous book is Middlemarch meets Cold Comfort Farm as Lucilla, whose object in life is 'to be a comfort to poor papa' sorts out the lives of all and sundry while manoeuvering herself into position as Queen of Carlingford, the local neighbourhood. The young Lucilla promises Papa ten years before she hits thirty and 'begins to go off'. In her firm but benevolent reign she fends off suitors, arranges marriages, appoints suitable political candidates helping them win elections, with no other motive than her awareness that she's the only one with any ability to get things done properly. Oliphant's characters are all well drawn, from Nancy, the cook, famous for her sauces, to Mrs Woodburn, who 'takes off' her neighbours. Her clerics are funny and poignant and her Carlingford series, of which this is a part, gives Trollope more than a run for his money. This forgotten classic (revived periodically to no avail) should be read by anyone whose ever enjoyed a nineteenth century novel. Lucilla is a character to live in your head for the rest of your life. Wonderful stuff.