From the experts:
The disgraced heroine of The Scarlet Letter's name, after long neglect, just might have a chance at revival, following in the wake of sister-name Esther. We've characterized her elsewhere as an eccentric aristocrat, much more accepted in the U.K. than she has been here.
Hester's beyond-Hawthorne's literary appearances include as characters in Theodore Dreiser's novel An American Tragedy, in Oscar Wilde's play A Woman of No Importance, in John Irving's novel A Prayer for Owen Meaney, and as Niles and Frasier Crane's mom on Frasier.
Hetty is Hester's usual nickname, sometimes used independently.