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CRIMSON BOOKSHELF

THE ISLANDS OF BOSTON HARBOR: THEIR HISTORY AND ROMANCE by Edward Rowe Snow. Andover, The Andover Press.

By W. E. H.

THIS book was obviously written with all the enthusiasm of a devotee. Mr. Snow is very young for an antiquary: he is too young at all events, to gather his materials from moth-eaten records. His acquaintance with the sites about which he writes is in every instance, first-hand, since he has traveled to see them and has interviewed resident officials and citizens on the spot. For sixteen years he has put time and effort into compiling the detail. Such precocity has resulted in a work which ought to find readers among Bostonians who are interested in local history.

A graduate of Harvard with the class of 1932 Mr. Snow is a teacher of history in the Winthrop High School. It is not academic history which he writes, but a curious kind of travel-book history, both in content and in form. One can find out how to reach the islands as well as what happened on them in days of old.

Harvard's President Felton was once superintendent of the Farm and Trades School on Thompson's Island. The revenues from Bumkin Island used to reach the Pockets of the President and Fellows; the annual income cannot have been much for the whole island was worth less than $1500 during its gaudiest epoch.

Mr. Snow's style is not distinguished, but it makes no undue demands upon the reader. There is not much material in which this reviewer was passionately interested, but one may thank Mr. Snow for reprinting the Deer Island verses of the Rev. F. W. A. S. Brown, wandering poet of Boston Harber, who flourished (or drooped?) in 1819. One may quote from them without further comment:

"There shaded by some willow trees,

The bowling allays lay,

With seats, where you may sit at ease,

When not inclin'd to play.

When not inclin'd to dance or sing,

Upon a lefty tree.

There hangs a strong, well guarded swing.

From every danger free."

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