British Reform Writers, 1832-1914

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Dictionary of Literary Biography is certainly a well-known and excellent set that has real value for undergraduate literary research. But these costly volumes tumble out endlessly, with seemingly infinite variations and extensions on various literary themes. American Travel Writers, 1850-1915, for example, directly complements DLB's Volume 183, American Travel Writers, 1776-1864, making it clear that pre-1776 and post-1915 remain possibilities. British Reform Writers, 1832-1914 likewise complements DLB's Volume 158, which covers 1789-1832, leaving pre-1789 and post-1914 as additional possibilities. Approximately half of the writers included in these two new volumes show up in other volumes in different guises. But do we really need Nelly Bly in one volume as a journalist and in another as a travel writer, or five different variations on Henry James? Do we need this much information on secondary and even tertiary writers? One can, of course, instead use the "Concise" editions, although the "Concise" edition of the American series is now ten years old. Perhaps we should expect a revised "Concise" edition as well as another of Gale's revision series, since the earliest volumes of the primary set are now 20 years old. This set is too much of a good thing; most libraries can purchase only the most relevant volumes or wait for Gale's special discount offers.--Peter A. Dollard, Alma Coll. Lib., Mt. Pleasant, MI
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