Books: New English

THE JOURNALS OF BRONSON ALCOTT — Edited by Odell Shepard — Little, Brown ($5).

One small but significant event in recent literary history has been the rediscovery of Bronson Alcott. Until two years ago this genial New England philosopher enjoyed an unread celebrity as the father of Louisa May Alcott, a friend of Emerson, one of the least coherent of the Transcendentalists, a slightly daffy but harmless mystic. Glimpses of Alcott in Van Wyck Brooks's The Flowering of New England exploded these literary myths. Odell Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Alcott,...

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