Ruth Holberg, whose works of fiction for the young reader have been widely received for their excellence shows herself to be equally competent in the field of biography. This well documented account of John Greenleaf Whittier, one of New England's most admired poets, maintains dramatic interest without resorting to exaggeration or distortion. The simple Quaker background on which much of Whittier's poetry was founded, the profound antagonism which he felt toward slavery and which motivated a great deal of his work, the curious conflict between the sophisticated world in which he lived and the Quaker ethics which were part of him, and the painful clash between his passionate but fragile nature are all clearly defined here. Whittier's was a life of dreamy absorption, but also one which was resolved in activity. Loved, loving, but never wholly committed, Whittier emerges here as a man marked and wounded by dedication, a poet of second magnitude, but a human being of primary interest.