Hughes has steeped himself in the details of Puritan New England and here is a picture stripped of any romantic ideals of Colonial days, and revealing Boston of persecutions, intolerances, rigid disciplinary measures -- the ""freedom"" for which the colonists had left their home lands. Seaborn Fleet's rebellion against all it meant, his defense of a Quaker girl, his generally unorthodox behavior and resultant banishment to Barbados and Virginia, and ultimately to England -- this is the story. While in England, he wins recall from banishment by protecting Boston's interests -- and finds again the woman he had loved. An absorbing story of the times, though perhaps over minute in details. Hughes' name is good for a substantial market. This is in more serious vein than usually associated with him, but is good melodrama and good historical fiction.