The high quality of Mr. Howard's prose sets in glowing terms this ""Study of the Early Literary Career of James Russell Lowell"". An experiment in literature as a medium for historical research, this study takes Lowell as its central theme, from his boyhood through the ""wasteland"" of his departure from the post-abolitionist fervor, marked by the death of his wife and his acceptance of the ""wisdom of the market place"" wherein he would find his place in the world, know its limitations, and write within them. The researcher's complete immersion in this period-as well as in Lowell- lights the personal, social, historical and aesthetic elements that made Lowell the man he was, and in turn, generated his influence on the world in which he lived. Coleridge, Keats, and the romantics come to life as young Lowell studied them and enjoyed them, Emerson through his bout with transcendentalism, Spenser through his identification with the Knight of the Red Crosse- and other literary influences course through Lowell's development as he absorbed them, or changed them, or discarded them. 1842 and the days of perilous publications saw Lowell in his first attempts at marketing what he had written, and in preparing him for his hard fling with the abolitionist cause... An appreciative and definitive study, and a dependable backlog for reference.