The Book of Esther and the Typology of Female Transfiguration in American Literature. By Ariel Clark Silver. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 2018. ix, 229 pp. Cloth, $95.00; e-book, $90.00.
According to this study, nineteenth-century US authors explored the possibilities of women through the figure of Esther, who transforms from a Jewish girl into a Persian queen. Beginning with the transformative women in Margaret Fuller’s Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845), Silver argues that Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry Adams used biblical types to “conceive of a new redemption, salvation, and transfiguration that ultimately challenge the patriarchal structure on which typology fulfillment depends.” In particular, she traces this female redemption strand through Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne, Zenobia, and Miriam, and through Adams’s Esther Dudley.
Herman Melville: Among the Magazines. By Graham Thompson. Amherst: Univ. of Massachusetts Press. 2018. xiii, 249 pp. Cloth, $90.00; paper, $32.95.
Scholars have often dislocated Melville from...