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Highly recommended for small public and college libraries.
For those collections needing a more comprehensive reference source, the eight-volume Critical Survey of Long Fiction is the better source, but Notable British Novelists is authoritative, accessible, and a good choice if money and shelf space are limited.
The writing and analysis is geared to the advanced student and contains enough analysis to be valuable to the student who must go beyond a biographical sketch. Its length puts it between a short biographical dictionary and an encyclopedia. Recommended if the demand for these well-known persons is not already covered well in the reference collection.
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Editor: Carl Rollyson,
Baruch College, City University of New York
January 2001 · 3 volumes
1,063 pages · 6"x9"
Notable British Novelists
Notable British Novelists consists of biographical sketches and career analyses of 104 of the best-known and most studied English, Scottish, and Irish writers of long fiction from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries. This 3-volume set, a combination of new and updated essays culled from the Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Second Revised Edition (2000), examines the works most often studied in high school and undergraduate literature classes.
A wide range of genres and styles is explored, from the gothicism of Charlotte and Emily Bronte and Matthew Gregory Lewis to the postmodernism of Anthony Burgess. Fantasy fiction is represented by Lewis Carroll, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien, and the science fiction of Arthur C. Clarke and H. G. Wells. Among the detective and mystery writers featured are Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and P. D. James, and writers of satire include Jonathan Swift, Tobias Smollett, and Martin Amis. Also featured are the historical novels of Sir Walter Scott and Robert Graves and the feminist fiction of Dorothy Richardson, Jean Rhys, and Fay Weldon.
The Irish writers chosen for this set lived under British rule before the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922 or had careers that were closely associated with Great Britain. Such modern Irish masters as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, therefore, are not included.
Notable British Novelists examines novelists from the early fifteenth century, such as Sir Thomas Malory, to the present. Seventeenth century writers include Aphra Behn and Samuel Butler, and eighteenth century authors Fanny Burney, Henry Fielding, Ann Radcliffe, and Laurence Sterne are featured. Included in the discussions of nineteenth century writers are Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Thomas Hardy, Mary Woolstonecraft Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Anthony Trollope. Authors of the twentieth century include Margaret Drabble, Aldous Huxley, and Virginia Woolf.