THE purpose of this book is to portray Percival Lowell as he was in his distinctive personality. May these reflections of his spirit bring with them a better knowledge of the accomplishments of this brilliant and unusual man. May they be an incentive to a more intimate acquaintance with his utterances.
For no one can speak more truly of him than he spoke of himself in his own glowing pages: where are depicted his brilliance, wit and humour; love of nature and the arts of the world; love of travel; and his first, best and last love,—love of science. Someone has said: "He had attained practically everything worth striving for." In Science he had reached his goal.
The writer has not attempted to manifest her own conception of Dr. Lowell but she has allowed him, through the medium of his letters, to furnish the picture which his friends and compatriots will recognize as the real Percival Lowell. She asks nothing more than to be thought of as having furnished merely the thread on which his pearls are hung.