Hester: A Story of Contemporary Life, Volume 2 (of 3)


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Enter the captivating world of “Hester: A Story of Contemporary Life” by Mrs. Humphry Ward, where love, ambition, and societal expectations collide in a mesmerizing tale set against the backdrop of Victorian England. Volume 2 of this gripping trilogy delves deeper into the lives of its characters, exploring themes of duty, passion, and the struggle for personal fulfillment. As readers continue their journey with Hester and her companions, they will be drawn into a world of intrigue, betrayal, and redemption that challenges their perceptions of love, loyalty, and morality.


Volume 2 of “Hester: A Story of Contemporary Life” picks up where the first volume left off, continuing the saga of Hester Barclay and her family as they navigate the complexities of Victorian society. As Hester grapples with the fallout of her tumultuous affair with Stephen Lestrange, she finds herself drawn into a web of intrigue and scandal that threatens to destroy everything she holds dear.

Meanwhile, Stephen struggles to come to terms with his own feelings for Hester and the consequences of their forbidden love. As he wrestles with his guilt and remorse, he must confront the harsh realities of his past and the impact of his actions on those around him.

As the narrative unfolds, readers are introduced to a host of new characters, each with their own ambitions, desires, and secrets. From the ambitious politician Sir George Farquhar to the enigmatic socialite Lady Maria Gresham, the world of “Hester” is populated by a rich tapestry of characters whose lives intersect in unexpected ways.

As Hester and her companions navigate the treacherous waters of Victorian society, they must confront the consequences of their choices and the limitations of their own morality. Through their struggles and triumphs, Mrs. Humphry Ward paints a vivid portrait of a society on the brink of change, grappling with the tensions between tradition and progress, duty and desire.


“Hester: A Story of Contemporary Life” explores a variety of themes that are central to the human experience, including love, ambition, and the search for personal fulfillment. One of the primary themes is the conflict between societal expectations and individual desires. As Hester and Stephen wrestle with their feelings for each other, they must confront the rigid social norms that govern their lives and the consequences of defying convention.

Another theme is the nature of ambition and its impact on personal relationships. Throughout the novel, characters are driven by their desire for power, wealth, and social status, often at the expense of their own happiness and the well-being of others. Mrs. Humphry Ward examines the corrosive effects of ambition on the human soul, showing how it can lead to betrayal, manipulation, and moral compromise.

Why Read “Hester: A Story of Contemporary Life, Volume 2 (of 3)”:

For readers looking for a compelling saga filled with drama, intrigue, and romance, “Hester” is an excellent choice. Volume 2 of this gripping trilogy builds upon the foundation laid in the first volume, deepening the story’s themes and character development while introducing new twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Whether you’re a fan of historical fiction, romance, or psychological drama, “Hester” offers something for everyone, from its richly drawn characters and evocative setting to its thought-provoking themes and gripping plot twists.

About the Author:

Mrs. Humphry Ward (1851–1920) was an English novelist known for her insightful portrayals of Victorian society and the human condition. Born Mary Augusta Arnold, she began her literary career as a translator and essayist before turning to fiction. Throughout her life, she wrote dozens of novels, short stories, and essays, many of which explored the social and political issues of her time.


As you delve into the pages of “Hester: A Story of Contemporary Life, Volume 2 (of 3),” prepare to be swept away on a journey of love, ambition, and betrayal in Victorian England. With its richly drawn characters, evocative setting, and gripping narrative, this novel is sure to captivate and enthrall readers from beginning to end. So grab a copy, settle in, and prepare to be transported to a world of intrigue and passion unlike any other.

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