Hester: A Story of Contemporary Life

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Macmillan, 1884 - 495 pages
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User Review  - Kasthu - LibraryThing

Mrs. Oliphant is an author who was enormously popular when her novels were first published but who is nearly forgotten nowadays. She is maybe better-known for her Chronicles of Carlingford series (of ... Read full review

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User Review  - Sarahursula - LibraryThing

This is a fascinating nineteenth century novel about women’s lives. There’s powerful Catherine Vernon; female head of a provincial bank, spinster mother of two adopted sons and local patroness. Even ... Read full review

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Page 69 - A month or more hath she been dead, Yet cannot I by force be led To think upon the wormy bed, And her together. A springy motion in her gait, A rising step, did indicate Of pride and joy no common rate, That flushed her spirit. I know not by what name beside I shall it call : — if 'twas not pride, It was a joy to that allied, She did inherit.
Page 68 - ... her. A waking eye, a prying mind, A heart that stirs, is hard to bind, A hawk's keen sight ye cannot blind, Ye could not Hester. My sprightly neighbour ! gone before To that unknown and silent shore, Shall we not meet, as heretofore, Some summer morning, When from thy cheerful eyes a ray Hath struck a bliss upon the day, A bliss that would not go away, A sweet fore-warning ? THE OLD FAMILIAR FACES.
Page 210 - And, if a dog passed by, she still would quit The shade, and look abroad. On this old bench For hours she sate; and evermore her eye Was busy in the distance, shaping things That made her heart beat quick.
Page 101 - But tell me, only tell me a little more.' He shook his head. 'Hester', he said, 'that is not what a man wants in a woman; not to go and explain it all to her with pen and ink, tables and figures, to make her understand as he would have to do with a man. What he wants, dear, is very different — just to lean upon you — -to know that you sympathise, and think of me, and feel for me, and believe in me, and that you will share whatever comes.
Page 68 - But she was train'd in Nature's school, Nature had blest her. A waking eye, a prying mind, A heart that stirs, is hard to bind, A hawk's keen sight ye cannot blind, Ye could not Hester. My sprightly neighbour, gone before To that unknown and silent shore...
Page 54 - Was anything amiss going on? Nay, that was out of the question. It was not to be thought of for a moment that Bartleby was an immoral person. But what could he be doing there — copying? Nay again, whatever might be his eccentricities, Bartleby was an eminently decorous person. He would be the last man to sit down to his desk in any state approaching to nudity. Besides, it was Sunday; and...
Page 255 - And as for Hester, all that can be said for her is that there are two men whom she may choose between, and marry either if she pleases — good men both, who will never wring her heart. Old Mrs Morgan desires one match, Mrs John another. What can a young woman desire more than to have such a possibility of choice?
Page 31 - The work of a successful man of business increased, yet softened by all the countless nothings that make business for a woman, had filled her days. She was an old maid, to be sure, but an old maid who never was alone.
Page 96 - It means most things in this world," he said; "unfortunately, however high-minded we are, we can do nothing without it. It means of course show and luxury, and gaiety, and all the things you despise; but at the same time It means," he said, after a little pause, "the house which two people could make into paradise.
Page 49 - She was very rich, so rich that she did not know what to do with her money. There was a swarm of Vernons round her, eating her up. "We are her nearest relations on her mother's side,

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