Cover image for The encyclopedia of Britain.
The encyclopedia of Britain.
Publication Information:
Oxford : Helicon ; Farmington Hills, Mich. : Gale Group, [1999]

Physical Description:
1015 pages : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm
General Note:
Published in the UK as: The Hutchinson encyclopedia of Britain.

"An A-Z guide to its people, places, history, and culture"--Cover.
Added Uniform Title:
Hutchinson encyclopedia of Britain.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA1 .E52 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A compendium of information about Britain. This book covers British men and women in all fields of human activity; UK history; towns and places in the UK, including tourist attractions; science and technology successes; Britain's cultural heritage: writers, visual arts, architecture, music, TV, film, sport and more; and 200 quotes on Britain and the British way of life.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This is a very interesting and timely reference. As mentioned in the preface, as the Millennium approaches, England is seeing many changes, with a new Labor government, the forging of closer ties with Europe, and the implementation of self-rule for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Arranged in an A^-Z format, this volume contains more than 6,000 entries. Coverage includes famous people, events, movements, metropolitan areas, and tourist attractions. In addition, natural features, national monuments, World Heritage sites, organizations, and institutions are surveyed, as are art, leisure, traditions, and customs. Most entries are only a couple of paragraphs in length, but there are also 45 feature articles. These average one to two pages in length and cover such diverse topics as "How the Election System Works," "The British at Play," and "Welsh Devolution: A Hesitant `Yes.'" Supporting the text are approximately 27 black-and-white maps and about 257 black-and-white illustrations. There are also 30 attractive color illustrations. In addition, scattered throughout the text are many quotations supplementing nearby entries, as well as chronologies and sidebars on such topics as "The Peerage" and "Top 25 Companies in the UK in 1997." Biographical entries provide birth and death years and cite titles of books, films, plays, and artworks in italics. Metropolitan entries provide area, physical description, industries, agriculture, and population. All units of measurement throughout the text are given in metric and English units. There are many cross-references, which are indicated by arrows pointing to the relevant terms. Rounding out the volume are several appendixes covering a variety of topics (e.g., leading sports clubs, TV personalities). There is also an unannotated listing of approximately 684 useful Web sites and an eight-page chronology, from 1707^-1998. This volume was first published in England as the Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Britain. Readers should know that some of the content is identical to that in another title, The Hutchinson Illustrated Encyclopedia of British History, which we reviewed in the October 1 issue of RBB. Eighteen of the feature articles in The Encyclopedia of Britain also appear in The Hutchinson Illustrated Encyclopedia, and many entries are shortened versions of those in Hutchinson, if they are not exactly the same. However, a substantial amount of the material in The Encyclopedia of Britain is new. Given its broader scope and the fact that there are several other one-volume encyclopedias devoted just to British history, The Encyclopedia of Britain is the preferred choice between the two.

Library Journal Review

This encyclopedia presents over 6000 alphabetical entries on the culture, history, and geography of the United Kingdom. Some 45 feature articles, averaging a page in length, treat various themes such as Britain's empire, its educational system, and its pop music. Numerous illustrations, lists, chronologies, maps, and even a few family trees accompany entries. There is good coverage of contemporary performers, writers, athletes, and other public figures. In addition, the appendixes on contemporary writers, film actors and directors, athletes, TV personalities, and web sites make this encyclopedia far more useful for researching contemporary British culture than Routledge's Encyclopedia of Contemporary British Culture (LJ 8/99). While comparable to Bamber Gascoigne's Encyclopedia of Britain (Macmillan, 1993), which nevertheless has more color illustrations, Helicon's encyclopedia is somewhat stronger in the area of pop culture; it is also more up-to-date. Recommended for public and academic libraries.ÄAnna Youssefi, Univ. of Houston Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Published in the UK as The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Britain (1999), this volume, while large, is necessarily selective. It contains the kinds of entries usually found in such a work--descriptions of places, institutions, monarchs, important historical figures and events, and famous literary works--but the preface claims it also intends to review the state of Britain at the turn of the millennium, hence many entries treat popular culture (e.g., contemporary sports, television, film and music personalities, and even the millennium itself and its controversial dome in Greenwich). Entries vary in length from a few lines to several pages. One-page signed articles on specialized subjects, such as BSE (mad cow disease) and the ordination of women priests, are interspersed throughout the volume, and there are numerous tables, maps, and black-and-white illustrations, as well as two sections of color photographs. Appendixes list international organizations of which Britain is a member; sporting clubs; additional contemporary writers, actors, directors, and sports figures; useful Web sites; and a chronology of British history, 1707-1998, all of which continue the emphasis on contemporary information more usually found in an almanac. An entertaining work that will supplement more traditional encyclopedic works about the UK. C. E. King; SUNY at Stony Brook