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.