ea. vol: 112p. illus. maps. reprods. bibliog. chron. index. (World Leaders Past & Present Series). CIP. Chelsea House. 1988. PLB $15.95. Gr 7 Up Wide margins and numerous black-and-white illustrations suggest an accessible resource for student reports. However, what is inside these ``biogra phies'' of Robespierre and Henry VIII is old-fashioned political history, densely packed with a description of governmen tal issues, wars, and diplomatic crises the kind of history that for generations has made students ask, ``Do we have to know all these dates?'' Between the de tails of the historical narrative, diligent readers can find a Henry VIII with a ``romping appetite for a new wife'' and a Robespierre whose opponents ``mar veled at his zeal,'' but it is only the political persona or public personality that is described. There is no breath of psychological interpretation or evidence of personal relationships or private life as explanation of public actions. The ``sto ries'' of these world leaders are drawn from speeches, documents, and tradi tional histories. The results do not make lively reading and do not provide the sense of character or personality one would expect from a biography. The il lustrations, mostly engravings from con temporary paintings and portraits, are identified only from the Bettmann Ar chive, and not by the original artist or source. Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, N.J.