Books: Minding the Light

THE PEACEABLE KINGDOM by JAN DE HARTOG 677 pages. Atheneum. $10.

Like lovers, the one thing religious minorities have in common is the conviction that they are unique. Like lovers, they are of course right. But the passion for God, like other passions, obeys certain plot patterns—all subject to certain beginnings, middles and ends. The kindling, the cooling and the rekindling of the Quakers is the present theme of Dutch Novelist-Playwright Jan de Hartog. In this first of two novels in progress, he takes the history of the Religious Society of Friends from Cromwell's England, 1652, to Pennsylvania, 1755, and the brink...

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