Novel by Henry Adams, published in 1884 under the pseudonym Frances Snow Compton. The character of the heroine is modeled on the author's wife, and that of Wharton on the sculptor Saint-Gaudens.
Esther Dudley, a young painter, is introduced to Stephen Hazard, preacher at St. John's in New York City, whom she at first dislikes because he is absorbed in religious work, while she shares the free-thinking of her invalid father. When Esther is commissioned to work on the decoration at St. John's, under the direction of the prominent artist Wharton, she uses as a model her friend Catherine Brooke. During the progress of the work, Wharton falls in love with Catherine, while Esther becomes friendly with Stephen, who is enthusiastic about her painting and visits her father. After the latter's death she becomes engaged to the clergyman but soon realizes that their views of life are incompatible. In spite of their love, attempts at reconciliation fail, and Stephen announces that he will not trouble her again until she stands in need of his and the church's consolations.
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Henry Adams (1838—1918)