This was reported last month on the basis of partial availability. Now, with the completed material before me, I can vouch for the sustained quality throughout, for the amazing ability of Van Wyck Brooks to give a sense of immediacy to his background. One can feel the reality of figures hitherto shadowy symbols, one can almost see Boston and the New England towns. This book covers a period less familiar to the general reader than that of The Flowering of New England. He writes of literary figures as disparate as Horatio Alger and Henry James. Some of the earlier personalities cross and recross the pages. We meet Parkman again, and Emerson, Thoreau and the Alcotts. But they no longer dominate a scene whose brave colors are fading. Once again he has brought a period alive and made a great contribution to the history of American literature.