Why the phobia about dates?,
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This review is from: Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know (Hardcover)
A mine of information, the kind of reference book which you can find yourself reading straight through, like Brewer's Phrase and Fable or John Sutherland's Companion to Victorian Literature. But - why this strange reluctance to give the exact dates for people and things? Robert Browning (1812-1889) is "a poet of the nineteenth century" Why? Even more ridiculously, Louis XIV (who lived from 1638 to 1715) is "a king of France in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries". In opening my copy to find an example to illustrate my gripe I noticed that Julian rather than Thomas Huxley is given as the (yes, "nineteenth century") champion of Darwin. Though I'm sure this has been corrected in a later edition than mine - hasn't it?
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