In spite of protestations to the contrary, this might well be the source book for The Late George Apley, with the balance weighted towards the intellectual and away from the social. At seventy eight, a grand old man of letters looks back over a full life. One time editor of the Atlantic Monthly, of the Youths Companion, author of numerous biographies and memoirs, member of literary clubs and literary circles, this reads more in the vein of the English reminiscences and literary chit-chat than the routine American product. Urbane, scholarly, chatty in a somewhat stately fashion, this is a memorial to a literary cycle that has passed. There is enough of his personal story to give the necessary background-Rhode Island, Philadelphia, Lehigh and Harvard, where Boston put the permanent stamp upon his personality and his point of view. It is not snobbish -- it is not stuffy -- but a little push over and it might have been one or the other. Fine vintage, flavored by time.