Hester Catherine Vernon is the head of the family bank reputed in the Home Counties to be solid as the Bank of England Loved and revered by the people of Redborough she is nevertheless seen as a none too b

  • Title: Hester
  • Author: Margaret Oliphant
  • ISBN: 9781844082063
  • Page: 485
  • Format: Paperback
  • Catherine Vernon is the head of the family bank, reputed in the Home Counties to be solid as the Bank of England Loved and revered by the people of Redborough, she is nevertheless seen as a none too benevolent despot by those of her family who, dependent upon her charity, live in the nearby Vernonry.Catherine is a proud businesswoman, in firm control of her life, herCatherine Vernon is the head of the family bank, reputed in the Home Counties to be solid as the Bank of England Loved and revered by the people of Redborough, she is nevertheless seen as a none too benevolent despot by those of her family who, dependent upon her charity, live in the nearby Vernonry.Catherine is a proud businesswoman, in firm control of her life, her work and her family She lives with her young cousin Edward, grooming him to succeed her in the bank, loving him like a son Then fourteen year old Hester and her widowed mother join the tenants of the Vernonry and Catherine finds she has met her match in this strong willed girl We watch as Hester grows up through the 1860s and 70s and as their silent confrontation comes to a head over their love for the same man an absorbing struggle which alters forever the fortunes of Hester and the Vernon family.

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      Published :2018-02-21T10:59:16+00:00

    One thought on “Hester”

    1. This is the story of Catherine and Hester Vernon, and the relationship between the two women and the one man whom both of them loved; Catherine as a son and Hester as a woman. Catherine once saved the family bank from ruin at the hands of Hester's reckless father when he fled the country in disgrace, and Hester and her mother return years later as paupers living at the charity of cousin Catherine, as do several other assorted Vernon relatives. Hester makes a poor impression on Catherine on her f [...]

    2. I do love Mrs. Oliphant. She should be more well known. I have a lot of her books in the much lamented green covered Virago Classic series. Saving them up like treasure for rereading in old age.

    3. Somewhat leisurely in its pace, and internal in its actions, Oliphant's Hester is marvellous in its depiction of two strong, independent women, who cope with the situations presented to them in the best way they can. Catherine Vernon, who many years before stepped in to save the family bank when her feckless cousin, John Vernon, ran it in to the ground fled oversees, is both maiden lady and yet also matriarch. Benevolent and yet cynical, her only blind spot is her nephew Edward, one of her two c [...]

    4. Margaret Oliphant is a newly discovered joy for me. She deserves to be up there in the literary canon with Trollope, Jane Austen, and Thackery, but some reason she is mostly unknown. "Hester" is a leisurely, slow-moving book but a wonderful deep exploration of character.

    5. You have to love Victorian feminist lit which involves banking and "masculine" females so simultaneously heavily. Extremely worth reading. Why does no one know Mrs. Oliphant? Excellent question.

    6. Blah. I forgot how heavy-handed some Victorian novels can be, not allowing the reader to even dare to imagine the characters' inner thoughts, but rather, the omniscient and busy-body author must spend pages upon every blessed nuance of every blessed thought or emotion. And then some more pages upon the shade of pale of the heroine's face as she observes the action around her. Also, worst. ending. ever. It seems like the author decided that her book was about long enough but she realized too late [...]

    7. This is the best work of one of the lesser-known, but prolific Victorian women novelists. Written in the 1880s, it's set in the 1860s and features banking and "speculation" as one of its underlying themes. The novel also reflects the move from rural life to town life. While Hester is an interesting character, her antagonist Catherine Vernon is perhaps even more interesting. A wealthy spinster of a prominent local banking family, she "saves the bank" during a run 30 years prior to the time of the [...]

    8. Huh. That summary provided by doesn't sound like the same story. Granted, it was done in only 5, 13-minute segments, so the abridger had to leave a lot out. But the whole focus of the story changed. Catherine was made out to be kind, sensible, and suffering, but highly competent. I don't think I noticed that SHE wasn't Hester I guess I forgot the name of the novel. Hester was the young girl? She hardly figured at all in this abridged audio. Anyway, a depressing story. I guess the end was suppos [...]

    9. This was a selection for my Classics book group. I hadn't heard of Margaret Oliphant prior to this, so was amazed to find out she wrote over 100 novels. Hester was a very refreshing read. Using the background of a successful family bank in a country town, Oliphant tackles a range of feminist issues in a sensitive and convincing way. The right of women to work and their ability to handle business affairs as well as (or better) than men, being two of the main ones. Catherine and Hester are strong, [...]

    10. A surprisingly good read-- no doubt because it's one of the few Victorian novels I've read recently which managed to stay under 400 pages (not by a lot, but still). The novel is about a strong matriarch who takes control of her family's bank during a crash, elevates it to its former status, and who, as she ages, must choose a successor; while the novel is named after a male character, Hester, it should be named Catherine, the matriarch who dominates the novel and who's status as a bank owner is [...]

    11. This is quite the cheerless tome. It started really well, and then just gradually became more and more depressing until it's fairly inevitable, and maybe of it's time, but neither cheery, nor feminist conclusion.

    12. I wasn't crazy about this one. She does some interesting things, especially with the marriage plot, but most of the characters are just too unpleasant for me to have an enjoyable time.

    13. Margaret Oliphant depicts many of her characters here vividly, often with humour, sympathy and understanding. She goes beyond the domestic sphere and gives some insight into how people did speculate using other peoples' money. She does criticise the Victorian marriage market, whilst showing how for too many Victorian women getting married well was the only way of gaining security and respect. Unlike Jane Austen, Margaret Oliphant does more than hint that perhaps women could and should go out int [...]

    14. Mrs. Oliphant introduced me the word "longueurs"--something long and boring, as a passage in a book. I almost gave up on her because of the many longueurs in "Hester." Then I reminded myself that the first three chapters of most Victorian fiction are unbearable description and background and forged on. She's not as funny as Trollope or as charming as Gaskell, but she can play second string, especially if you skim the longueurs and hang in there for the final third of the book.

    15. Impecable flow, elaborated zeitgeist, complex personages, a glimpse of the desperation of women who started to wonder why the society corset.

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