"English Literature" covers the English-speaking world, with the curious omissions of Canada's Robertson Davies and Stephen Leacock. Robert Benchley doesn't have a listing (though his grandson Peter does). "World Literature" does include Asian, African, and Latin American writers as well as Europeans. Coverage of entertainment and news media is overwhelmingly British and American. Films like Rashomon and Seven Samurai are not covered. "Myths and Legends" is exclusively European. The chapter "Food and Drink" has a strong emphasis on European terms, but wok and sushi, which have naturalized themselves elsewhere, are included. Other sections cover the sciences, technology, geography, and social sciences, including religions. The writing is clear and concise throughout.
The work is generously illustrated with drawings, photographs, and charts, many in color. Although small, they are clear, and reproductions of art are well done. Sidebars are readable and close to the entries that they amplify. This would be a useful ready-reference item in any library and could be a lifesaver, especially given its reasonable price, in a small library with a limited budget.
- Hardcover: 608 pages
- Publisher: David & Charles; Revised edition (January 26, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0276421531
- ISBN-13: 978-0276421532
- Package Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.6 x 1.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 pounds