A long, scholarly and minutely detailed life of the great abolitionist poet, written with love and appreciation, but without style or charm. It manages to convey a likeable picture of the quiet Quaker who fought so valiantly and so undeviatingly for the cause of freedom. The text portrays his integrity, simplicity, forthrightness -- and is deeply sympathetic with his ""liberal"" views. The monolithic self-assurance of the last century must strike most modern readers as something both enviable and naive. While not brilliant, this is definitely one of the broader biographies of the year.