This new study by Ariel Clark Silver offers a significant contribution to the reception history of Esther by focusing on Puritan literature and its aftermath, in particular on those authors most associated with transcendentalism. . . . Silver is successful in going beyond John Gatta’s work on the prominence of Mary in 19th century literature (American Madonna) and in establishing an older paradigm in the person of the Jewish Queen Esther. Silver’s book acts not so much as a corrective but as an expansion of how ancient types of women are helpful to American women in presenting the emergence of a redeemed spiritual figure who accepts responsibility for her actions and acquires moral autonomy in a culture often set against her.