Set in the backdrop of a rural and picturesque part of Scotland, Volume One of The Ladies Lindores sees the return home of the young John Erskine, the laird of Dalrulzian, whose small estate borders that of the ambitious Earl of Lindores and that of the brutish Torrance of Tinto. All three men display differing views and designs upon the Lindores ladies, and are met with responses either acquiescent or questioning or a mixture of both.
In this novel Oliphant lives up to her reputation as a 'quiet subversive', who while upholding the convention of marriage, is not blind to the lived reality. Balancing her support for marriage Oliphant also incorporates an applause for the strong minded and clear-sighted spinster whose contended life stands as an alternative suggestion for women.
Anne McManus Scriven is the editor of the 'Nineteenth Century Scottish Women's Fiction' series. Holding a Ph.D (Strathclyde, 2005), which focused on the writing of Margaret Oliphant and contemporaneous works, Anne has taught undergraduate courses on Scottish Literature at the universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Edinburgh. She is currently an Honorary Research Fellow of the Centre for Scottish Cultural Studies at the University of Strathclyde.