A very creditable biography of Francis Scott Key by the author of two other fine studies, Young Nathan (1949) and The Swamp Fox (1950). Through the real and fiction like quality of her writing Mrs. Brown gives both characters and issues an impressive immediacy. The biography covers Key's life from his early teens to the writing of our national anthem, and if the reader suspects a sentimental patriotism at the start it is soon disspelled as Frank's boyish loyalty gives way to an adult's intelligence through his law studies at St. John's in Annapolis. There is an appealing account of his courtship and marriage to Mary Lloyd, but along with it, after the young couple move to Washington, are the stages of Frank's career as a promising lawyer who knew Jefferson and Burr, Clay, Judge Chase and the fiery John Randolph of Virginia. Key was a first hand witness in the Burr and Chase controversies. In the war of 1812 he was against our invasion of Canada, so it was a thoroughly reasoned love that prompted the writing of the Star Spangled Banner at the siege of Fort McHenry. Recommended as vivid, balanced history.