Books: Quaker Aristocrats

A QUAKER CHILDHOOD: 1871-1888—Helen Thomas Flexner—Yale University Press ($3).

Taboo in the Thomas family of Baltimore were dancing, card playing, the theatre, discussion of politics and sex, quarreling and demonstrativeness. But the Thomases, descendants of Quaker Founder George Fox, were not such strict Quakers as Grandmother Whitall: when she came visiting, they hid the piano. Under great stress one of the family taboos might be broken: Dr. Thomas made an apoplectic exception to denounce Cleveland as too radical. When it came time to tell the children about the Facts of Life, Dr....

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