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Episode 2

Classic Serial, Esther Waters Episode 2 of 2

58 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 17 March 2013

Esther Waters by George Moore. Dramatised by Sharon Oakes
Episode 2
Set against a background of horseracing and gambling; a stirring tale of how a woman survives and brings up her child in Victorian England. Esther leaves the workhouse with her baby. She is desperate for them to stay together. But how can she earn money?

Producer/Director Gary Brown

Celebrated author Colm Toibin championed Esther Waters as a neglected Classic for Radio Four's Open Book programme. He encourages listeners to read the novel again because he thinks it has a wonderful story with fascinating characters, a heroine we'll come to know and love, and it's one of those books you just can't put down.
Esther's tale is a slice of Victorian life that is rarely shown; single parenting, wet nursing, divorce, gambling, and religious zealotry. Through her we discover exactly what it feels like to be poor and powerless. The book was banned until Gladstone revoked it, saying it was compassionate, moral and humane; and after that it became a best seller.


Lyndsey Marshal
Matthew McNulty
Joanne Froggatt
Graeme Hawley
Gary Brown
Gary Brown


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