A refreshing book, particularly in these days when there is crying need for good biography, good period material, as relief from concentration on war books. This book has something for every discriminating reader. The Holmes cult is a substantial one, as has been evidenced by the absorption in the market of the various books culled from his own writings, and so on. This is a sure favorite with that audience, and overlaps only in a few instances, while it adds immeasurably through giving Justice Holmes the rich and varied background of his family, particularly his father, and the developing national scene. All who revelled in The Flowering of New England will welcome this as a richly patterned picture of the literary scene, broadened at the base through balance of political, religious, social aspects. Catherine Drinker Bowen has a faculty for humanizing her content, she has a good anecdotal sense, she is sound scholar and journalist, without erring too much on the side of pedantry. Delightful, and a sure best seller, even apart from its selection by the Book of the Month.