PERSONS AND PLACES
Finedrawn portraiture and interpretation, intellectual rather than emotional in appeal, this is a book of memoirs, rather than straight autobiography. Fragments, stray images of places and people who formed the background, the genesis for Santayana, poet, novelist, and preeminently philosopher. A discerning, tempered, reflective autobiography, with occasional wit and much contemplation. His Spanish father, a painter and a lawyer who went only halfway in both, indifferent to external circumstances; his mother, with stern standards of the virtuous and the refined, who married twice out "of determination rather than passion"; the Sturgis family of Boston, her first husband's family, of sound character and ethics representing New England's commercial aristocracy Busanna, his half-sister and deepest affection; and the contrasts as he lived now in Avils, in Spain, where his father lived, and which he revisited after his mother moved back to Boston; school years in Boston, Harvard, friendships and studies --but Boston never became for him a spiritual home -- he remained always a "stranger at heart" returning to "solitude, to silence, and to sincerity". As Book-of-the-Month -choice in January, this will probably build up a large intellectual snob appeal audience.