NOTE ON THE TEXT
GEORGE MOORE revised most of his works repeatedly, in some cases practically producing new books altogether. He revised Esther Waters extensively for the edition of 1899, correcting mistakes, such as Esther's baptism of her child in Chapter XIX (see note), making a number of quite substantial alterations, and rewriting for more consistent style and narrative point-of-view so thoroughly that only a score of pages were unaltered. The 1899 edition is several thousand words shorter than the first edition Of 1894. He revised again in 1917 and 1920, this time mainly limiting himself to points of detail, though making a few substantial modifications to tidy up the action of the 1899 edition. A catalogue of the revisions would occupy dozens of pages, and R. A. Gettmann summarizes their cumulative effect in ' George Moore's Revisions of The Lake, The Wild Goose, and Esther Waters', PMLA 59 ( June 1944), pp. 540-55:
1. Action and description are increasingly presented through Esther's eyes, although there is no new lyricism or inner reverie, such as he would normally have written into his later fiction.
2. A few passages of exposition are recast as dialogue.
3. Certain unnecessary 'signpost' sentences are removed, such as 'Sarah was the first to speak', etc.
4. Certain descriptive details are omitted, such as the exact placing of windows in a room, when these play no part in the action.
5. There is a greater variety of sentence structure, and more fluidity, especially in the accumulation of detail, and sequences of events.
6. The dialogue becomes more colloquially confident, and the tone more even.

-xxiii-

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Esther Waters
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • NOTE ON THE TEXT xxiii
  • SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY xxv
  • A CHRONOLOGY OF GEORGE MOORE xxvii
  • EPISTLE DEDICATORY xxix
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 8
  • Chapter II 22
  • Chapter IV 32
  • Chapter VI 41
  • Chapter VI 47
  • Chapter VI 50
  • Chapter VI 56
  • Chapter VI 67
  • Chapter VI 72
  • Chapter XII 84
  • Chapter XIII 94
  • Chapter XIV 109
  • Chapter XV 115
  • Chapter XVI 120
  • Chapter XVII 126
  • Chapter XVII 138
  • Chapter XVII 152
  • Chapter XVII 161
  • Chapter XVII 175
  • Chapter XXII 182
  • Chapter XXIII 185
  • Chapter XXIII 192
  • Chapter XXV 198
  • Chapter XXVI 214
  • Chapter XXVI 232
  • Chapter XXVI 237
  • Chapter XXVI 239
  • Chapter XXVI 248
  • Chapter XXVI 265
  • Chapter XXVI 272
  • Chapter XXVI 281
  • Chapter XXVI 288
  • Chapter XXVI 300
  • Chapter XXVI 308
  • Chapter XXVI 311
  • Chapter XXVI 321
  • Chapter XXVI 326
  • Chapter XXVI 336
  • Chapter XXVI 343
  • Chapter XLII 358
  • Chapter XLIII 366
  • Chapter XLIII 376
  • Chapter XLIII 384
  • Chapter XLIII 388
  • Chapter XLVII 392
  • EXPLANATORY NOTES 397
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