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[7] Gerry Brooks. The son of the last-named marriage is known to all residents of Somerville, and to many throughout the land.

In industry and consequent fruitfulness, it is not too much to say that Elbridge Streeter Brooks is the leading writer among those who, in life and death, have been identified with the city of Somerville. He has written biography, fiction, and history, to the number of more than forty volumes. His first book was a biography of Rev. Elbridge Gerry Brooks, dedicated to the author's mother,—‘whose loyal and loving aid made more effective the life-work of my father.’ Many of the volumes by Mr. Brooks have attained a wide popularity, and so have met his cherished wish, that his works in the public library might show, in their well-worn binding, the sign that they had been often and vigorously handled. The kind of writing in which Mr. Brooks excels is a mingling of historic fact with playful imagination. Take, for example, ‘The Century Book of Famous Americans,’ of which the Somerville library owns four copies, all bearing the marks of use. What could be more fascinating to the young people, for whom primarily this book was written, than to be transported from Boston to Quincy and Plymouth, from New York to Philadelphia, then to Virginia and Kentucky, thence hurried to the early homes of Lincoln and of Grant, regaled all along the way with bits of story about the men who have made these places famous? Here is no dull guide-book or chart of dates and battles, but a lively conversation among an uncle and the five boys and girls he is piloting,—talk rendered vivid and readable by the running question and commentary of these young Americans, in the vital and unstudied language of the present day. No wonder the book is issued under the auspices of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. No wonder twenty thousand copies were sold in three months after publication. There surely is no easier, because no more interesting, way in which to become acquainted with the leading facts in our country's history.

Into the so-called fiction written by Mr. Brooks historic fact enters almost unawares, just as in books whose main interest is

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