An over-exploited field, perhaps, but this biography is not only exhaustively comprehensive and thoroughly documented, but darned good reading. Biography of a tempestuous family, half mad, half genius. The story starts with Junius Senior, who deserted home and child, made an ex-legal second marriage and cemented it with ten children. Tender, kindly, he was the first one recorded to reveal the uncontrolled excesses, alcoholic and melancholic, which shadowed his descendants. Next, Junius, Edwin and John Wilkes --the three who took up acting. In John Wilkes, the loss of his voice, precipitated a mad desire for notoriety, which culminated in the assassination of Lincoln. Kimmel disposes, once and for all, of unfounded legends.