Hester by Margaret Oliphant

Catherine Vernon heads up the family bank in Redborough. She has been jilted in her youth like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations, and as a result casts a jaundiced eye on just about everything. Her iron will has brought her to prominence and losing control over any event in her purview is not to be countenanced.

Niece Hester has her own ideas, though. Younger cousin Edward,  who works at the bank, too, is manoeuvering towards a position of greater influence. It all stacks up for a messy conflict. Relish the interplay of money, sex, and power in this Victorian novel (1883) from Margaret Oliphant. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Oliphant)

Today we call all this manoeuvering ‘mind games’ (or perhaps something more vernacular). It’s been going on as long as humans had minds and language with which to manipulate and deceive each other. Oliphant gives us a solid, and entertaining, dissection.

512 pages in Oxford’s World Classics paperback edition.

ISBN 978-0199555499

Margaret Oliphant

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