Cover image for Notable British novelists
Notable British novelists
Rollyson, Carl E. (Carl Edmund)
Publication Information:
Pasadena, Calif. : Salem Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
3 volumes : portraits ; 24 cm.



Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR821.N57 2001 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PR821 .N57 2001 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PR821 .N57 2001 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This three volume set has been designed to reflect the British novelists most often studied at high school and in undergraduate literature courses. Included are profiles of 89 English authors, six Scottish, and nine Irish, arranged alphabetically for easy access. The novelist's birth dates and significant places are listed, along with a glossary of useful term and techniques.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Some 104 English, Scottish, and Irish writers are covered in this Magill's Choice set, which is drawn from the publisher's Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Second Revised Edition (2000).

Library Journal Review

This three-volume work is a clever and serviceable repackaging of the eight-volume Critical Survey of Long Fiction, second revised edition (LJ 10/1/00). Rollyson, who also supervised the Critical Survey, offers 104 up-to-date essays, primarily by U.S. scholars, maintaining the same thorough analysis and consistent tone as the original. Each essay lists the principal works by the author and describes his or her achievements and biography, analyzing the overall body of work and each novel individually. The updated annotated bibliography at the end of each essay provides excellent sources for further research, and over half the essays include a photo or drawing of the author. The writers, a few of whom were born in Ireland but have close associations to Great Britain, were chosen because their works are often studied in high school and college. A wide range of styles and genres, notably gothic, mystery, and sf, are represented. A nine-page glossary of terms and techniques and a time line, which begins in the early 15th century, ends in 1950, and notes each author's date and place of birth, precedes an index consisting mainly of author and title references. The volumes seem well bound, but the type is smaller and the paper thinner than in the original series. A complete list of contents appears at the beginning of each volume, making the set easy to browse. The compact size and focus on one country of origin will appeal to less sophisticated scholars. Highly recommended for small public and college libraries. Vivian Reed, California State Univ. Lib., Long Beach (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Containing new essays and others updated from The Critical Survey of Long Fiction, (2nd rev. ed., CH, Jan'01), this set consists of biographical sketches and analyses of 104 English, Scottish, and Irish (before creation of the Irish Free State, 1922) novelists, 15th century to the present. The alphabetically arranged, signed entries, not confined to novels, begin with a list of the author's principal works of long fiction, other literary forms the author used, and "Achievements," which notes the writer's contributions to literature and any awards or honors. There follow a brief biographical sketch, an analysis of the writer's recurring themes, and lengthier summaries and analyses of the writer's major works. Each entry concludes with a list of other major works and a brief annotated bibliography of criticism and biography. A glossary and index appear at the end of volume 3 and a roster of contributors, usually with affiliations, at the beginning of volume 1. Although the editor claims the set "examines the works most often studied in high school and undergraduate literature classes," he does not explain how this list was compiled. Of the nearly 100 contributors, a quarter are called "independent scholars," with no other identification. These are troubling omissions in the Magill sets. Although entries provide sufficient biographical and critical insight for average high school or first-year college students, they vary in length and breadth. With the complementary Notable American Novelists (CH, Mar'00), this set's concise plot summaries, biographical information, and critical analysis make a convenient package for high school and public libraries that cannot afford Critical Survey, but both can be ignored by academic libraries that hold CS. P. Mardeusz University of Vermont