One of the most controversial and influential novels of the 1890s, Esther Waters scandalized Victorian opinion in its depiction of a single mother and her struggle to survive prejudice and injustice. The only available edition of this powerful novel. The Introduction examines the vivid depiction of Victorian sub-culture, horse-racing and gambling, the London tavern and the life of working-class women in the novel, as well as the stylistic influences of French naturalism and Impressionist painting. Explanatory Notes provide helpful glosses on unfamiliar expressions and a range of horse racing and betting terms. New to this edition Introduction by Stephen Regan. New, up-to-date bibliography. Improved chronology. New and considerably expanded notes. New and reset text of the novel, using the revised 1899 text rather than the later 1920 edition, re-establishing the novel as a classic of the 1890s. 'I daresay I shall get through my trouble somehow.' Esther Waters is a young, working-class woman with strong religious beliefs who takes a position as a kitchen-maid at a horse-racing estate. She is seduced and abandoned, and forced to support herself and her illegitimate child in any way that she can. The novel depicts with extraordinary candour Esther's struggles against prejudice and injustice, and the growth of her character as she determines to protect her son. Her moving story is set against the backdrop of a world of horse racing, betting, and public houses, whose vivid depiction led James Joyce to call Esther Waters 'the best novel of modern English life'. Controversial and influential on its first appearance in 1894, the book opened up a new direction for the English realist tradition. Unflinching in its depiction of the dark and sordid side of Victorian culture, it remains one of the great novels of London life and labour in the 1890s. Readership: Readers of Victorian fiction and modern literature, including Irish literature, those interested in the representation of women and of London life and labour in the nineteenth century, and in the history of horse racing and gambling; students of Victorian literature, fin-de-siecle literature, Irish studies, women's studies, cultural studies.