This is more than simply ""the letters of John Fiske"", for through them you get a warmly human picture of the man himself. It is not as definitive, perhaps, as The Life and Letters by J.S. Clark, published in 1917, but better reading. The collection includes letters from 1852 to 1901, the year of his death, family correspondence, chronicling his school days, his teaching, writing and lecturing. One gets the picture of his courtship; one follows his phenomenal record of reading and study, his early enthusiasms, prejudices, snobbery, his absorbed delight in the things he reads, his pleasure in his human contacts. A panel of literary lights of his day, -- Spencer, Huxley, Howells, Lowell, Holmes, Tonnyson, George Eliot, Darwin, etc. He turned from law to letters and became an important figure in his intellectual world and a popular lecturer. His New England background should create local appeal; but his portrayal of the mental and physical life of the period will interest many others.