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Cover for The Double Life of Laurence Oliphant

The Double Life of Laurence Oliphant

Victorian Pilgrim and Prophet

Bart Casey


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Laurence Oliphant lived one of the most remarkable lives of the Victorian era, dedicated to making a real difference for his fellow man–sometimes in very unconventional ways.

At the age of 38, Laurence Oliphant, a successful Victorian writer, diplomat and Member of Parliament gave up his glittering career to join an American cult for a life of hard physical labor and sexual mysticism.  Then, in his 50’s, Oliphant along with his beautiful wife Alice le Strange spent their final years working to save refugees by establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Oliphant’s obituary in The Times said of him, "Seldom has there been a more romantic or amply filled career; never, perhaps, a stranger or more apparently contradictory personality."

Praise For The Double Life of Laurence Oliphant: Victorian Pilgrim and Prophet

“A rollicking biography of a classic 19th century figure, featuring imperial adventure, high diplomacy, literary fame and an eccentric cult focused on bizarrely sublimated sexuality... Casey relates this colorful saga with well-paced narrative aplomb.... The result is an energetic page-turner, a shrewd character study, and a rich social history.”
— Kirkus, Starred Review

“Meticulously and impeccably researched, and wholly and thoroughly well-told.... Laurence’s life was beautifully captured in this revealing biography.”
— San Francisco Book Review

"Bart Casey writes with clarity and grace."
— The Jerusalem Post

Post Hill Press, 9781618687968, 200pp.

Publication Date: December 8, 2015

About the Author

Bart Casey grew up in London, studied Literature at Harvard, and trained as a professor before switching to an advertising career, living many years amidst the settings for The Vavasour Macbeth. His recent biography of Victorian Laurence Oliphant was chosen by Kirkus for its Best Books of 2016.