Episodes

EpisodeFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
012013031020190527 (BBC7)
20190528 (BBC7)

Set against a background of gambling and horseracing; Esther Waters is a stirring tale of how a servant girl makes her way in Victorian England.

Forced to leave the home of her brutal stepfather, Esther takes a job as a maid at 'Woodview', a country estate owned by a nouveau riche racing family.

First published in 1894, George Moore's novel is dramatised in two parts by Sharon Oakes.

Esther....Lyndsey Marshal
William....Matthew McNulty
Sarah....Joanne Froggatt
Mrs Rivers....Joanne Froggatt
Leopold....Hugh Simon
George....Hugh Simon
Demon....Stephen Hoyle
Peggy....Lisa Brookes
Mrs Latch....Melissa Jane Sinden
Mrs Barfield....Melissa Jane Sinden
Anne....Fiona Clarke
Mrs Spires....Fiona Clarke

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.

Celebrated author Colm Toibin championed Esther Waters as a neglected Classic for Radio 4's Open Book programme.

Director: Gary Brown

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2013.

Forced to leave the home of her brutal stepfather, Esther takes a job as a maid.

Adaptations of works which have achieved classic status

022013031720190528 (BBC7)
20190529 (BBC7)

After she was betrayed by William, Esther leaves the workhouse with her baby. She’s desperate for them to stay together. But how can she earn money?

Set against a background of horseracing and gambling; a stirring tale of how a woman survives and brings up her child in Victorian England.

First published in 1894, George Moore's novel is dramatised in two parts by Sharon Oakes.

Esther....Lyndsey Marshal
William....Matthew McNulty
Sarah....Joanne Froggatt
Leopold....Hugh Simon
Judge....Hugh Simon
Fred....Graeme Hawley
Demon....Stephen Hoyle
Peggy....Lisa Brookes
Mrs Empson....Melissa Jane Sinden
Mrs Barfield....Melissa Jane Sinden
Anne....Fiona Clarke
Bill....Greg Wood

Director: Gary Brown

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2013

Esther is determined to make her way and support her baby.

Adaptations of works which have achieved classic status