Collected and edited by Pauline Ames Plimpton, his daughter, and with a Foreword by George Plimpton, his grandson, these journals, letters, and diaries, written in the first half of the century, give a vivid autobiographic picture of the era. Oakes Ames was one of the group of extraordinary teachers that Harvard drew to its faculty under Eliot and Lowell; he devoted his life to the study and teaching of botany and became a world authority on orchids and economic botany, directing the Botanical Museum and the Arnold Arboretum. The book gives a description of family life in Boston and the small town of North Easton, Massachusetts, as well as the experiences of travel in those early days. The main theme is his love of nature, whether in collecting orchids or acquiring land for his home. It is a book to be savored by those interested in the University, in orchidology and in the striking contrasts between the past and the present. His austerity of character and his subtle, surprising humor and insights are particularly relevant for the present time.