Esther Waters

OUP Oxford
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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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Additional Information

OUP Oxford
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Published on
Oct 11, 2012
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Fiction / Classics
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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.
 Irish novelist, poet and dramatist George Moore was amongst the first English-language authors to absorb the lessons of the French realists, being particularly influenced by Émile Zola. Naturalist masterpieces such as ‘Esther Waters’ and ‘A Mummer’s Wife’ went on to influence James Joyce and other leading modernist writers. Moore also wrote accomplished historical novels, revealing a refined sensitivity of history and academic research. This comprehensive eBook presents Moore’s complete fictional works, with numerous illustrations, rare texts appearing in digital print for the first time, informative introductions and the usual Delphi bonus material. (Version 1)

* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Moore’s life and works

* Concise introductions to the major novels and texts

* All 19 novels, with individual contents tables

* Rare novels appearing for the first time in digital publishing, including ‘Ulick and Soracha’ and his last masterpiece ‘Aphrodite in Aulis’

* Rare early versions of novels: ‘A Modern Lover’, ‘A Drama in Muslin’ and ‘Sister Teresa’

* Images of how the books were first published, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts

* Excellent formatting of the texts

* Rare story collections available in no other collection

* Special chronological and alphabetical contents tables for the short stories

* Easily locate the short stories you want to read

* Moore’s rare poetry collection ‘Flowers of Passion’ – available in no other collection

* Includes a selection of Moore’s plays and non-fiction – spend hours exploring the author’s oeuvre

* Features three memoirs - discover Moore’s personal life

* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres

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The Novels

A Modern Lover

A Mummer’s Wife

A Drama in Muslin

A Mere Accident

Spring Days

Mike Fletcher

Vain Fortune

Esther Waters, 1899 version

Evelyn Innes

Sister Teresa, 1901 version

Sister Teresa, 1909 version

The Lake


The Brook Kerith, 1916 version

Lewis Seymour and Some Women

A Story-Teller’s Holiday

Heloise and Abelard

Ulick and Soracha

Aphrodite in Aulis

The Short Story Collections


The Untilled Field

In Single Strictness

Uncollected Short Stories

The Short Stories

List of Short Stories in Chronological Order

List of Short Stories in Alphabetical Order

The Plays

The Strike at Arlingford

The Bending of the Bough

Diarmuid and Grania

The Poetry

Flowers of Passion

The Non-Fiction

Modern Painting

Preface to ‘Piping Hot!’ by Émile Zola

The Memoirs

Confessions of a Young Man

Memoirs of My Dead Life

Hail and Farewell

Please visit to browse through our range of exciting titles or to purchase this eBook as a Parts Edition of individual eBooks

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