Books: Lo, the Lowells

THE LOWELLS AND THEIR SEVEN WORLDS (442 pp.)—Ferris Greenslet—Houghton Mifflin ($4).

Lowells of one kind or another—learned, stately, pious, peculiar—have inhabited Boston and its environs almost as long as any other white men, and left their mark more indelibly than most. There have been Lowells commercial enough to take fortunes out of distilleries and cotton mills, Lowells august enough to serve as trustees of the Boston Athenaeum, Lowells literate enough to be represented on many a U.S. bookshelf.

Rumor is that Lowells talk only to Cabots; they have also apparently talked freely to...

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