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About the Author: Henry Adams

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Born in 1838 into one of the oldest and most distinguished families in Boston, a family which had produced two American presidents, Henry Adams had the opportunity to pursue a wide-ranging variety of intellectual interests during the course of his life. Functioning both in the world of practical men and afffairs (as a journalist and an assistant to his father, who was an American diplomat in Washinton and London), and in the world of ideas (as a prolific writer, the editor of the prestigious North American Review, and a professor of medieval, European, and American history at Harvard), Adams was one of the few men of his era who attempted to understand art, thought, culture, and history as one complex force field of interacting energies.

His two masterworks in this dazzling effort are Mont Saint Michel and Chartres and The Education of Henry Adams, published one after the other in 1904 and 1907. Taken together they may be read as Adams' spiritual autobiography — two monumental volumes in which he attempts to bring together into a vast synthesis all of his knowledge of politics, economics, psychology, science, philosophy, art, and literature in order to attempt to understand the individual's place in history and society. They constitute one of the greatest historical and philosophical meditations on the human condition in all of literature.


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Goodreads rating: 3.47

Paperback, Published in Sep 2007 by Book Jungle

ISBN10: 1604241012 | ISBN13: 9781604241013

Page count: 152

Esther (1884), the second of two novels by noted American historian Henry Adams (1838-1918), deals with a woman's inability to accept religious faith as men have formulated it. Esther Dudley, a young New York socialite and artist raised without religion, falls in love with Episcopal clergyman Stephen Hazard, but she cannot embrace his Christianity and remain true to herself. Displaying the subtle interplay of mind found in the best work of Henry James, Esther suggests the symbolism of the Virgin Mary that Adams would take up some twenty years later in his Mont Saint-Michel and Chartres, a Study in Thirteenth-Century Unity: Esther rejects Hazard just as the Virgin rejected the scholastic formulation of the Trinity and the whole medieval system of moral law.

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