The ""holy experiment"" which William Penn established in Pennsylvania was the outgrowth of the recurring pressures and persecutions he had suffered during the civil wars of England. Catherine Peare, whose adult life of Penn was published by Lippincott earlier this year, presents a carefully developed biography of the son of Admiral Penn, of his exile in Ireland with his family, of the gradual convictions he shared with George Fox's followers, the Society of Friends, and of his later imprisonment in England for those beliefs. Several lesser known chapters are revealed here; the canny manipulations through which the Ford family gained legal control over Penn's dead to his land grant, the story of his marriage first to Guilelma Springett and many years later, after her death, to Hannah Callowhill. Both women endured years of tribulation and separation as Penn crossed the Atlantic in the interests of his colony. Penn's fairness in dealing with the Indians is underscored. This is a commendable biography, with more appeal for the serious scholarly child, or for the youngster who thrives on challenging material, than for the average boy or girl. Certainly of regional appeal, and an excellent reference tool.