Books: Fiction & Family History

THE RUNNING OF THE TIDE (632 pp.)—Esther Forbes—Houghton Mifflin ($4).

The unpredictable Crowninshields, merchant mariners of Salem (Mass.), deserve a place of their own in New England history. They built one of the great fortunes of post-Revolutionary days, went cruising to the Mediterranean in a fabulous pleasure boat named Cleopatra's Barge, and fervently supported Thomas Jefferson. One Crowninshield hanged himself on the eve of his trial in a sensational murder case. Another left an account of his travels (Journal of Captain John Crowninshield at Calcutta, 1797-1798, When Master of the Ship Belisarius*) that is...

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