Michael Barry's LITERARY LEGENDS OF THE BRITISH ISLES, THE LIVES & BURIAL PLACES OF 50 GREAT WRITERS is an appealing, informative, nicely-illustrated guide to famous British wordsmiths ranging from Geoffrey Chaucer to Roald Dahl.
Barry's book, a 2013 Schiffer Publishing release, arranges its subjects in to three chapters: 'Late Medieval and Early Modren Era;' 'Nineteenth Century;' and 'Twentieth Century.' The first section supplies bios on 15 authors/playwrights/poets including Marlowe, Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, Defoe and Burns. The second contains 18 entries including Dickens, Keats, Shelley, Tennyson, Wilde, Conan Doyle and the Bronte sisters. The third section features Kipling, Barrie, Joyce, Orwell, Shaw, Milne, Christie, etc.
Most get a two-three page write-up detailing their life, writings, popular and critical reception and burial spot. Others get more. Shakespeare, for instance, rates four pages. Vintage and contemporary photographs and illustrations nicely compliment the text.
As an introduction to noted British writers, LITERARY LEGENDS OF THE BRITISH ISLES is hard to beat. It's comprehensive, insightful and eminently readable. Highly recommended.