Hester Burton (6 December 1913 – 17 September 2000) was an English writer, mainly of historical fiction for children and young adults. She received the Carnegie Medal for her 1963 novel Time of Trial. Many of her books, including Time of Trial were illustrated by Victor Ambrus. Her principal publisher was the Oxford University Press.
Burton was born Hester Wood-Hill in Beccles, Suffolk, on 6 December 1913. From 1925 to 1936 she was educated at Headington School and St Anne's College, Oxford, where she received an honours degree in English. In 1937, she married Reginald W.B. Burton, a Classics don at Oriel College.
She worked for the Oxford University Press from 1956 to 1964, contributing two volumes to the Oxford Sheldonian English Series for secondary schoolchildren—Coleridge and the Wordsworths, 1953, and Tennyson, 1954—and working as an assistant editor in the revision of the Oxford Junior Encyclopaedia. She also edited two anthologies, A Book of Modern Stories (1959) and Her First Ball (1959).
Burton's historical fiction tended to share the radical and liberal perspective popularised by Geoffrey Trease. Many of her books are set in her home county of Suffolk and many show a particular interest in the sea.
Burton died in Oxford following a stroke at age 86, on 17 September 2000.
- The Great Gale (1960) [aka The Flood at Reedsmere] – North Sea flood of 1953
- Castors Away! (1962) – Napoleonic wars
- Time of Trial (1963) – free speech in the early 19th century
- A Seaman at the Time of Trafalgar (1963) – Napoleonic wars at sea
- No Beat of Drum (1966) – social unrest in 1830 and transportation to Van Diemen's Land
- In Spite of All Terror (1968) – the beginning of the Second World War, Dunkirk and evacuation
- Otmoor for Ever (1968) – enclosure and the Otmoor Riots of 1830
- Thomas (1969) [aka Beyond the Weir Bridge] – English Civil War and after
- Through the Fire (1969) – persecution of the Quakers during The Restoration and the Great Fire of London
- The Henchmans at Home (1970) [aka The Day That Went Terribly Wrong: And Other Stories] – family life in Victorian Suffolk
- The Rebel (1971) – Revolutionary France
- Riders of the Storm (1972) – education and unrest in 18th-century England
- Kate Rider (1974) – English Civil War: Siege of Colchester
- To Ravensrigg (1976) – Liverpool slave trade
- Tim at the Fur Fort (1977) – Hudson's Bay Company
- A Grenville Goes to Sea (1977) – Nelson's navy
- When the Beacons Blazed (1978) – Spanish Armada
- Five August Days (1981) – a contemporary adventure
- (Carnegie Winner 1963). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
- Time of Trial at WorldCat.
- "Hester Burton". The Telegraph. 30 October 2000. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
- Coleridge and the Wordsworths at WorldCat.
- Tennyson at WorldCat.
- A Book of Modern Stories at WorldCat.
- Her First Ball at WorldCat.
- "Hester Burton" at Fantastic Fiction.