By Leonard Unger
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Additional info for American Writers, Volume 1
During the years of heavy work on his History, Adams relaxed from one discipline, characteristically, by subjecting himself to another. He wrote and published two novels, Democracy, which appeared anonymously in 1880, and Esther, which he brought out under the pseudonym of Frances Snow Compton in 1884. The identity of the author was for years a carefully guarded secret. These novels have aroused an interest in our time incommensurate with their merit. They are in the class of Winston Churchill's paintings—of primary interest to the biographer.
He is far closer to Whitman and Melville than to Bancroft or Prescott, and he is not at all close to Einstein. In history he went as far as could be gone on the basic presumption, later repudiated by himself, that the study of trade, diplomacy, and politics can be made to reveal the sequence of human events. No historian has unraveled with more illuminating clarity the exchange of thought in chancellories, the effects of embargoes, and the influences of electorates on legislators and administrators.
As the first great blows began to fall, one curled up in bed in the silence of night, to listen with incredulous hope. As the huge masses struck, one after another, with the precision of machinery, the opposing mass, the world shivered. Such development of power was unknown. The magnificent resistance and the return shocks heightened the suspense. During the July days Londoners were stupid with unbelief. " Nothing is more notorious about the Education than the fact that Marian Adams is never mentioned in it and that the years of her marriage to the author are eliminated.