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Hester: A Story of Contemporary Life, Volume 3

By: Margaret O. Oliphant

It tells the story of Hester, a young woman who faces challenges and struggles in her life. The novel was first published in 1883, and it is considered one of Oliphant's best works. In the third volume, the story of Hester continues as she tries to navigate the challenges that come with being a single mother in the late 19th century. Hester's life takes a turn for the worse when she finds herself in a difficult financial situation and must find a way to provide for her child. The novel explores themes of love, motherhood, and the challenges that women face in society. Margaret O. Oliphant was a prolific Scottish writer who published more than 120 works during her lifetime. She was one of the most popular and successful writers of the Victorian era and is known for her novels, short stories, and biographies. Her works often explore themes of social change and the role of women in society. "Hester: A Story of Contemporary Life, Volume 3" is a captivating novel that is sure to leave readers engaged and emotionally invested in the story of Hester. The book's exploration of societal pressures and the challenges faced by women in the late 19th century is still relevant today, making it a timeless piece of literature.

Margaret O. Oliphant’s novel Hester: A Story of Contemporary Life is a compelling and insightful portrayal of a woman’s life in Victorian England. Published in 1883, Hester is the third volume of a trilogy, which also includes Miss Marjoribanks and Phoebe Junior.

The book revolves around the character of Hester, a young woman who is forced to make her own way in the world after the death of her husband. The novel follows her struggles and challenges as she attempts to navigate the social norms and expectations of the time. Despite facing numerous obstacles, Hester refuses to be defeated, and instead, she fights to establish herself as a respected and successful businesswoman.

One of the central themes of the novel is the position of women in Victorian society. Oliphant portrays the limitations and prejudices that women faced, as well as the lack of options available to them. However, Hester’s character also represents the growing strength and independence of women during this period.

Oliphant’s writing is richly detailed, with a particular emphasis on character development and dialogue. Her prose is also notable for its vivid descriptions of Victorian England, from the bustling streets of London to the tranquil countryside. Through her writing, Oliphant provides readers with a glimpse into the everyday life of this era, including its customs, beliefs, and values.

Overall, Hester: A Story of Contemporary Life is an excellent example of Victorian literature, exploring the complexities and challenges of the time through the eyes of a strong and determined female protagonist. The book’s relevance to contemporary readers lies in its themes of gender, class, and social change, which continue to resonate today.


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Margaret Oliphant Wilson Oliphant was a Scottish novelist and historical writer, who usually wrote as Mrs. Oliphant. Her fictional works cover "domestic realism, the historical novel and tales of the...

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