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eBook Esther (Penguin Classics) epub

by Henry Adams

eBook Esther (Penguin Classics) epub
  • ISBN: 0140447547
  • Author: Henry Adams
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Subcategory: History & Criticism
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (December 1, 1999)
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • ePUB size: 1598 kb
  • FB2 size 1303 kb
  • Formats doc lrf azw rtf

Esther (Penguin Classics) Paperback – December 1, 1999.

Democracy, Esther, Mont .

Henry Adams toured French mediæval gothic architecture, and apparently took a lot of notes, focusing on the Grande Cathedrals of Mont-Saint-Michel (built in the 1100s) and Chartres (built in the late 1100s to 1200s).

This is a list of books published as Penguin Classics. In 1996, Penguin Books published as a paperback A Complete Annotated Listing of Penguin Classics and Twentieth-Century Classics (. ISBN 0-14-771090-1).

Esther appeared in the Penguin Classics range relatively recently (2000) but . After Esther and his personal loss, Henry Adams retired from novel writing

by Henry David Thoreau.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was said to have been the last person to have read everything. Nowadays most of us need to be more selective

Best known for his classic American memoir, The Education of Henry Adams, Henry Adams was one of the most lively, probing writers between the Civil War and World War I. An offspring of presidents, Adams was steeped in the intellectual and moral traditions of the eighteenth century yet became an enthusiast of the energy, science, and industry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Esther -- originally published in 1884 under a female pseudonym -- is the story of Esther Dudley, a young painter, who meets a clergyman, Stephen Hazard of St. John's in New York City. At first she recoils from him, owing to his preoccupation with ministry and her radical views imbibed from her moribund father. When Esther receives a commission to renovate the decorations of the church, however, Stephen becomes an admirer of her painting and a friend to her ailing father. Esther finds herself drawn to the clergyman and, after her father's passing, even becomes engaged to him. But can she surrender her moral independence to marry him? A memorable portrait of a woman in an agonizing transition, Esther is also an insightful portrait of a confident age encountering the tensions among science, art, and religion.

Comments: (4)
It's interesting to think about the differences in society between now and when this book was written. At least in the West, there is less meddling in women's love interests. This book is decidedly dated, with frequent comments on how women are different and somewhat inferior to men. That was annoying. What really got me though was thinking about the judgmentalism that the characters were so afraid of. I'm sure this still happens in some circles, but there was so much more pressure on people to conform to society's standards then. It was almost debilitating, at least in this story. I appreciated some of the comments on church vs. secularism and science but it didn't really get as involved in that debate as some of the other reviews suggested. I mean yes, the whole book boils down to a battle between church vs free thought but what might have been somewhat scandalous 100 years ago seemed pretty tame to me today.
the monster
The author's style of writing is at times almost poetic and made me want to read it out loud just to hear the flow of words. After reading his other books, I looked forward to reading "Esther", which is interesting, light reading, and worthy in itself. It is difficult to pigeon-hole this book as it could be considered a `free-thinking vs. religion' or `women's rights vs. conservative views' or maybe a `love story' in disguise.

The story is about Esther, a young independent-thinking lady in New York society who is offered the opportunity to use her amateur skills to paint one of the saints on the ceiling of a new church. The pastor of the church is attracted to her work, thereby the basis and conflict between the two individuals. Esther does not appear to respond emotionally to his attention but attempts to combine her philosophy of life with that of the pastor. It is only in the last sentence of the book that reality is presented (no fair peeking!). Although written in the late 1800's, it is as relevant today as it was at that time.
A neglected comic masterpiece that deserves to be rediscovered, "Esther" features an inspired premise as its plot: a young, free-thinking socialite falls desperately in love with an Episcopal minister. The result is a free-for-all clash of intellects, a confrontation between faith and reason, and the inevitable battle of the sexes.
The marvels of Adams's novel are his remarkably nuanced and fully realized characters. Esther, the free-thinker, wants to share her lover's faith and "is trying to get it by reason"--but doesn't initially understand that a person "can never reason yourself into it." Mr. Hazard, the minister, is confident that he will "succeed in drawing her into the fold, because his lifelong faith, that all human energies belonged to the church, was on trial, and, if it broke down in a test so supreme as that of marriage, the blow would go far to prostrate him forever." Esther's principles of independence and self-education collide with Hazard's desire to steer her into submission as his wife and fellow believer.
But my favorite character is relegated to a supporting role: Catherine, a recent transplant from the frontiers of Colorado, befriends Esther and dazzles New York society with her innocence, naivete, and sincerity. It's never really quite clear, however, whether her simplicity is the genuine article or just a show mocking the pretensions of her admirers. As one of the intellectuals who lightheartedly teases her wonders, there was "a little doubt whether she was making fun of him or he of her, and she never left him in perfect security on this point."
The novel sparkles with banter and quarrels, jokes and ripostes, but any attempt to reproduce the humor in a short review would fall flat: Adams's witticisms are dependent upon context and character. Still, I caught myself laughing out loud often at the book's cleverness and hilarity.
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