Richard Francis has taught at universities on both sides of the Atlantic and has previously written on Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers, and on the Salem witch trials. He is also a novelist.
"Thorough and occasionally hilarious... [Mr. Francis] records Bronson and Abigail's acts of charity... But he also retells less admiring stories... Along the way he adumbrates the ways in which idealism can slide into megalomania."-Wall Street Journal Wall Street Journal "Excellent... [Francis] is not only an historian but also a novelist with an astute and appreciative eye for mixed character."-Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe -- Katherine A. Powers Boston Globe "[Francis's] sober, thoughtful, probing book also manages to provide great insight into the crucible that helped create the remarkable writer and no less remarkable woman who produced such an important piece of American fiction."-Martin Rubin, San Francisco Chronicle -- Martin Rubin San Francisco Chronicle