By Margaret Oliphant
Dramatised by Kate Clanchy and Zena Forster
Penelope Wilton and Lyndsey Marshal star in this high Victorian tale of a woman who runs her own bank.
Sometimes called 'the feminist Trollope', Margaret Oliphant is an unjustly-neglected British writer of the nineteenth century, famed for her perceptive, ironic psychology, and her strong female characters. And Hester has a striking premise: a young woman in a nineteenth-century Cheshire town, having been snubbed and discarded in marriage, does something truly radical. When the family bank is in danger of a run, she pledges her whole private fortune to save it. But instead of merely underwriting it, in return she insists on running the bank herself, as a single woman, in defiance of all convention.
Using Oliphant's deliciously witty and sardonic narration, allied to a radical dramatisation by Kate Clanchy and Zena Forster, 'Hester' reveals a flawed and fascinating heroine, reborn for radio.
When Hester is offered a merger to cancel all her debts, she finds a neat, but risky, solution.
Producer/Director ..... Jonquil Panting.