Books: The Morn Was Shining Clear

PARNASSUS CORNER by W. S. Tryon. 384 pages. Houghton Mifflin. $7.

In the end, a publisher is judged by the durability of his geniuses, not by the health of his balance sheets. There are no comparative statistics on these matters, and perhaps the native geniuses who made Boston's James T. Fields the most influential American publisher during the middle years of the 19th century were not abnormally fragile. Yet of Fields's list, Holmes, Emerson and Hawthorne are honored but widely unread; Harriet Beecher Stowe is a historical curiosity; the realist William Dean Howells is...

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