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Old 09-11-2013, 05:48 PM   #1
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Oliphant, Margaret: Sir Tom. v1, 11 Sep 2013

Margaret Oliphant Oliphant (nee Margaret Oliphant Wilson) (4 April 1828 - 25 June 1897), was a Scottish novelist and historical writer, and daughter of Francis Wilson. She was born at Wallyford, near Musselburgh, East Lothian.

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Sir Thomas Randolph had lived a somewhat stormy life during the earliest half of his career. He had gone through what the French called ajeunesse orageuse; nothing very bad had ever been laid to his charge; but he had been adventurous, unsettled, a roamer about the world even after the period at which youthful extravagances cease. Nobody ever knew when or where he might appear. He set off to the farthest parts of the earth at a day's notice, sometimes on pretext of sport, sometimes on no pretext at all, and re-appeared again as unexpectedly as he had gone away. He had run out his fortune by these and other extravagances, and was at forty in one of the most uncomfortable positions in which a man can find himself, with the external appearance of large estates and an established and important position, but in reality with scarcely any income at all, just enough to satisfy the mortgagees, and leave himself a pittance not much more than the wages of a gamekeeper.
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