Margaret Oliphant Wilson Oliphant (born Margaret Oliphant Wilson; 4 April 1828 – 20 June 1897) 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".
The daughter of Francis W. Wilson (c. 1788 – 1858), a clerk, and his wife, Margaret Oliphant (c. 1789 – 17 September 1854), she was born at Wallyford, near Musselburgh, East Lothian, and spent her childhood at Lasswade (Midlothian), Glasgow and Liverpool. A street, Oliphant Gardens in Wallyford is named after her. As a girl, she constantly experimented with writing. In 1849 she had her first novel published: Passages in the Life of Mrs. Margaret Maitland. This dealt with the Scottish Free Church movement, with which her parents had sympathised, and which had met with some success. It was followed by Caleb Field in 1851, the year in which she met the publisher William Blackwood in Edinburgh and was invited to contribute to Blackwood's Magazine. The connection would last for her lifetime, during which she contributed well over 100 articles, including a critique of the character of Arthur Dimmesdale in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.
In the 1880s she was the literary mentor of the Irish novelist Emily Lawless. During this time Oliphant wrote several works of supernatural fiction, including the long ghost story A Beleaguered City (1880) and several short tales, including "The Open Door" and "Old Lady Mary". Oliphant also wrote historical fiction. Magdalen Hepburn (1854) is set during the Scottish Reformation, and features Mary, Queen of Scots and John Knox as characters. (wikipedia.org)