A recent BBC radio adaptation improved the ending. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Skilton, David (1983) "Introduction", in: George Moore: This page was last edited on 2 July 2020, at 12:59. I never realized what a big part gambling on horse racing played during this ti. Perhaps I ought to be a little ashamed. A great read. An entire world of off- and on-track betting, of public houses, of prostitution and theft, rumbles through Esther's life. A few bushes hid the curve of the line; the white vapour rose above them, evaporating in the pale evening. I should have listened to that something. The misery in this novel is very depressing to me but seems realistic, because it's not a uniformly darkly painted--there are occasionally a few kind characters. It is didactic, overwrought, predictable, has some good dialog, but with the expected comeuppance followed by the sort of contented ending that comes with surviving the downs of life. Contemporary readers might feel frustration with Esther, because they fail to see her in her time. After reading so many books and seeing so many TV series on how the wealthy lived during the late 1800's, it was refreshing to read a book about how the rest of the English society fared during this time. I never realized what a big part gambling on horse racing played during this time period. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Thus opens the novel about Esther Waters, young, pious woman from a poor working class family who, while working as a kitchen maid, is seduced by another employee, becomes pregnant, is deserted by her lover, and against all odds decides to raise her child as a single mother. George Moore's Esther Waters(1894), which was published in the period of agitated debates over the labour movement, women's movement, changing gender roles, new custody rights, and single motherhood, can be read as a New Woman novel, although its protagonist lacks some of the typical New Woman’s features. This item cannot be shipped to your selected delivery location. by Oxford University Press. Lovely read and learnt a lot about horse racing and betting!  Continuously revised by Moore (1899, 1917, 1920, 1931), it is often regarded as his best novel. There is something special in discovering a novel (and a novelist) of the first order that had completely slipped under the radar. Esther Waters is dedicated to T. W. Rolleston. Needless to say he deserts her for another and she has to struggle through life in service and workhouses to bring up her son before being reunited with her son's father as she is on the point of getting married to another. And to be a woman in those times was the worst, especially young unmarried mothers. Mistress and maid develop an increasingly intimate relationship with each other and, for the first time in their lives, can practise their religion unhindered. Esther Waters is a young single mom, making her way despite the odds. While it very interestingly examines a lot of important themes, I found the pacing a bit odd and the ending a little disappointing. In the final scene of the novel, Jack, who has become a soldier, visits the two women at Woodview. In today's world of multiple government-assistance programs, it's an eye-opening glimpse into a different existence. This novel was written by Irish writer George Moore (friend of W.B. She literally spends a great deal of her life not knowing if she's going to have a roof over her head or food for the next day. It was interesting enough to keep me reading until the end, but it wasn't what I thought it was. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. The point is that her life has none of the possibilities that a woman now has. Any knowledge I have ever possessed has been an awareness of my lack of knowledge: the half handful of grains I've acquired against the endless sandy beaches of what there is to know. She has a little money that sees her. There's also a lot about horseracing in this book - maybe too much! It is widely considered Moore's finest novel. William seems to have become a believer in the faith and her son grows up, Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2011. At this remove, I cannot imagine why. She is seduced and abandoned and powerless, but she is not weak. Dreaming of a future with Latch, she is dismayed to find that he is having an affair with the Barfields' niece, who is staying at Woodview. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. The relentless realism of the narrative is underscored by the absence of intensely dramatic scenes. Move along. Please try again. The dialogue reads well despite the years, and the details of life in London as a servant, single mother and wife are wonderfully depicted. Although she has found a kindred soul in Mrs Barfield, who is also a Plymouth Sister and abhors the betting on horses going on all around her, Esther is dismissed ("I couldn't have kept you on, on account of the bad example to the younger servants") and reluctantly goes back to London. Refresh and try again. We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Moore leads readers through a world of baby farms, of the crime of poverty. Esther Waters is one of a group of Victorian novels that depict the life of a "fallen woman". But at the same time, Esther Waters … Esther realises that she has arrived at a crossroads and that she must make up her mind between the sheltered, serene and religious life Parsons is offering her—which she is really longing for—and sharing the financially secure but turbulent existence of a successful small-time entrepreneur who, as she soon finds out, operates on both sides of the law. She is seduced and abandoned and powerless, but she is not weak. Yeats) and made his career and his fortune. Yet i seems that sometimes Esther is enslaved by her own passion which exacerbates her poverty and all the hopelessness of being a woman without a husband. This coincides with Latch developing a chronic, sometimes bloody, cough, contracting pneumonia, and finally, in his mid-thirties, being diagnosed with tuberculosis ("consumption"). Nothing s. I can't put my finger on why I knew to avoid Moore's books, but something told me they were second rate. If "realism" is about such common events getting full play in fiction, this is a fine example. Learning that a young mother in her situation can make good money by becoming a wet nurse, Esther leaves her newborn son in the care of a baby farmer and nurses the weakly child of a wealthy woman ("Rich folk don't suckle their own") who, out of fear of infection, forbids Esther any contact with Jack. Although it did not receive good reviews, Moore was pleased with the production. By modern standards, the sensationalism is timid, but Moore has woven warnings against drinking and gambling into the story of the life of a young serving girl who becomes pregnant by a young man who has promised her marriage. Esther is not an independent, emancipated middle- or upper-class woman, but a victimised lower-class heroine and a quintessential mother who decides to raise her illegitimate son, an… With Miss Rice also dead, Esther has no place to turn to and again takes on any menial work she can get hold of. Welcome back. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Esther never gives up; Never backs down. Given Victorian delicacies regarding sexuality, the vagueness as to whether Esther has been taken advantage of by her lover or was compliant because of the extra ale she had is perhaps to be expected, and rather similar to Thomas Hary's equi.