Skip to main content

The Makers of Florence (Oliphant)

  • 51 Accesses


The Makers of Florence is a romanticized account of medieval and early modern Italian art history by the prolific Scottish novelist and critic Margaret Oliphant. First published at the end of 1876, the book went into four editions by 1884 and received a generally positive critical reception. While Oliphant made no claims to be engaging in original historical scholarship, she offered an engaging biographical overview of some of the major Florentine artists and writers, including Dante, Giotto, Donatello, and Michelangelo.


The Makers of Florence, first published in 1876, was one of three books that the Scottish novelist and critic Margaret Oliphant (1828–97) wrote about Italian history and culture; its later companion volumes were The Makers of Venice (1887) and The Makers of Modern Rome(1896). Covering the period of roughly 1265 to 1564 – that is, from the birth of the poet Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) to the death of the painter and sculptor Michelangelo...


  • Florence
  • Dante
  • Michelangelo
  • Giotto
  • Donatello Savonarola
  • Vasari
  • Architecture
  • Painting
  • Poetry

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Anon. (1876, December 28). Christmas Books. The Glasgow Herald, p. 7.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. (1877a, January 6). Books about Florence. The Illustrated London News, p. 22.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. (1877b, February 13). The Makers of Florence. The Pall Mall Gazette, p. 11.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. (1898, February 3). Romanist Rehabilitation of Savonarola. The Pall Mall Gazette, p. 6.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. (1908, June 10). On The Imperial Yacht. The Daily Telegraph, p. 12.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oliphant, Margaret. The makers of Florence. 1876. Macmillan and Co, 1881.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. Autobiography and Letters of Mrs Margaret Oliphant. 1899. Edited by Mrs Harry Coghill. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1974.

    Google Scholar 

Further Readings

  • Jay, Elisabeth. 1995. Mrs. Oliphant, ‘a fiction to herself’: A literary life. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Pam Perkins .

Section Editor information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this entry

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Perkins, P. (2020). The Makers of Florence (Oliphant). In: The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-02721-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-02721-6

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Literature, Cultural & Media StudiesReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences