'Hester' is a novel that deals with the problems women had in finding a role within society. It has been seen as a feminist narrative, but Oliphant is actually ambivalent - showing the pitfalls of indepedence, as well as those of the traditional married role. None of her women can find a truly fulfilling life within the confines of their society. The subtitle; 'a story of contemporary life', suggests Oliphant thought it was attainable, but she doesn't indicate how.
Taking as it's backdrop, the possible failure of a provincial bank, and the threats posed by dishonourable bankers to honest clients, it resonates in many ways with our own contemporary lives.
This HTML version was created from a PDF copy found in the Internet Archive. As far as I know, there is no satisfactory non-PDF version currently available; and it is hoped that this upload will meet that need.
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