The Double Life of Laurence Oliphant: Victorian Pilgrim and Prophet

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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.”

Bart Casey is a writer living in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he also trades as an internet rare book dealer. Bart moved to Vermont recently after a 40-year career in international advertising and direct marketing, where his work allowed him to travel the world and gather background for The Double Life of Laurence Oliphant.