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Episode 2

15 Minute Drama, Hester Episode 2 of 5

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 31 December 2013

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.


Margaret Oliphant
Penelope Wilton
Hester Vernon
Lyndsey Marshal
Harry Sellon
Ben Crowe
Patrick Brennan
Mildmay Vernon
Paul Stonehouse
Miss Vernon-Ridgeway
Sarah Thom
Miss Matilda Vernon-Ridgeway
Liza Sadovy
Edward Vernon
Joseph Kloska
Lady Ellen Vernon
Jasmine Hyde
Adam Nagaitis
Jonquil Panting
Jonquil Panting
Kate Clanchy
Zena Forster
Margaret Oliphant


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