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Yankee From Olympus, Justice Holmes and His Family
Yankee From Olympus Justice Holmes and His Family Author:Catherine Drinker Bowen The story of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is, in a broad sense, the story of his country. The narrative cannot begin with the flat date of his birth-1841. This was a man whose presence carried tradition. His roots reached deep into American earth. It was the strength of these roots that permitted so splendid a flowering. To know Justice Hol... more »mes at eighty-courtly, witty, scholarly, kind - it is well to have acquanintance with his Calvinist grandfather. Abiel Holmes; with his handsome, worldly great-grandfather, Judge Wendell; with his mother, from whom he inherited, he said, "a trace of melancholy." And above all it is well to know his father, that sturdy Yankee who wrote bad verse and good books-professor of anatomy, talkative five-foot-five Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table who lived upon applause and said so with engaging frankness.
By his own confession, Justice Holmes was an "internal man," to whom ideas were more interesting than things. But he was also a man of action. "Life is action and passion," he said. "I think it is required of a man that he should share the action and passion of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived." Holmes shared his country's action and passion on the soldier's field and the judge's bench. If the significance of his life lay wholly in his legal achievements, there would be no place for a biography written by a layman. If its significance lay wholly in his written words, there would be no place for a biography at all. But Holmes' greatness lay most of all in his manner of meeting life. Mrs. Bowen shows us his genius for living, his genius for finding himself wholly, using himself wholly. He loved life and believed in it. For him the act of learning was always an adventure. Passionately, until the mrning of his death, he pursued knowledge. (note from person listing this book- it is old but in great condition. Has the dust covered, although it is tattered at the edges)« less