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Eighteen Nineties Encyclopedia

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Editorial Reviews

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More than 800 alphabetically arranged entries cover the literary and cultural scene in Britain during the last Victorian decade. Many minor writers, noteworthy periodicals, and more than 100 individual books get entries of their own, and there are articles on such broad topics as "Irish Literary Renaissance", "Children's Literature", and "The Novel" (but not on poetry or architecture). Although the emphasis is on literature, there are entries for such cultural and social phenomena as "Wagnerism", "Theosophy", "Music Hall Entertainment", and "Socialism" and a few political figures and episodes (e.g., "Curzon", "Fashoda Crisis"). A few influential foreign writers (mainly French) get entries, as do some performers, painters, and thinkers. Brief bibliographies are appended to the articles. The contributors are mainly U.S. academics, but there are a number from Britain and Commonwealth countries; for some 40 contributors no affiliation is given (and these contribute more than 100 articles) Such detailed coverage of this distinctive and fascinating decade is welcome. The articles are longer than the extremely concise entries found in the Oxford companions. The index is not exhaustive; Westminster Cathedral, an important building of the decade, is mentioned in the article "Catholic Revival" but not in the index. And there are occasional typos: "Austin" (for Austen) Chamberlain, and Richard "Ellman" (for Ellmann). This encyclopedia will be a useful addition to academic and other reference collections.
For scholars, students, and anyone just interested in or curious about one of the most provocative periods in British literature and art, this comprehensive reference contains some 800 signed entries covering the most significant concerns of the decade. A major part of the coverage focuses on individual authors, artists, political figures, historians, scientists, philosophers, theologians, journalists, actors, and music hall entertainers. There are also more than 100 entries on the most significant books of the period, as well as mini- essays on general topics from Absinthe to Wagnerism. Each entry has its own bibliography. A fine and fascinating work. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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