Esther Waters

OUP Oxford
2
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'I daresay I shall get through my trouble somehow.' Esther Waters is a young, working-class woman with strong religious beliefs who takes a position as a kitchen-maid at a horse-racing estate. She is seduced and abandoned, and forced to support herself and her illegitimate child in any way that she can. The novel depicts with extraordinary candour Esther's struggles against prejudice and injustice, and the growth of her character as she determines to protect her son. Her moving story is set against the backdrop of a world of horse racing, betting, and public houses, whose vivid depiction led James Joyce to call Esther Waters 'the best novel of modern English life'. Controversial and influential on its first appearance in 1894, the book opened up a new direction for the English realist tradition. Unflinching in its depiction of the dark and sordid side of Victorian culture, it remains one of the great novels of London life and labour in the 1890s. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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About the author

Stephen Regan is the editor of Irish Writing: An Anthology of Irish Literature in English 1789-1939 in OWC. He is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of English at Harvard University (2011-12).
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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Oct 11, 2012
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9780191632273
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Classics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The first and greatest sensation novel, a thrilling story of evil thwarted and love reclaimed

The night before he leaves London for a temporary engagement in the North of England, drawing instructor Walter Hartright walks home on an empty, moonlit road. Suddenly a hand reaches out of the darkness and touches him on the shoulder. Terrified, he turns to find a woman, dressed all in white, who begs him for help in getting to a friend’s place in the city. By a strange coincidence, the woman knows Limmeridge House, the country estate to which Walter is traveling in the morning. Stranger still, she refuses to reveal anything else about herself, including her name. Only after he sees her safely into a cab does Walter learn the truth—the woman in white has just escaped from an insane asylum.

In Limmeridge, Walter falls in love with one of his students, the beautiful and virtuous Laura Fairlie. An orphan in the care of her invalid uncle, Laura is engaged to Sir Percival Glyde, a baronet. She follows through with the marriage despite her feelings for Walter, but soon realizes her mistake. Sir Percival will stop at nothing to gain complete control of Laura’s inheritance, and his diabolical plot hinges on her astonishing resemblance to the mysterious woman in white. It is up to Walter and Marian, Laura’s devoted half-sister, to rescue fair Laura from a fate worse than death.

With its shocking twists and spine-chilling suspense, The Woman in White charted a whole new course for popular fiction. Devilishly entertaining and deadly serious in its indictment of Victorian marriage laws that impoverished women, it is widely recognized as one the nineteenth century’s finest novels.

This ebook features a new introduction by Otto Penzler and has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
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