Some reference books are not only useful but a pleasure to read. For anyone interested in literature, the outstanding example is the Wilson Authors Series, which, for over fifty years, has provided excellent summaries of the lives and works of critically acclaimed or popular writers known to English‐speaking readers. Through their coverage of minor writers and inclusion of the autobiographical statements of many twentieth‐century writers, these volumes have constituted a valuable record of the literary scene. Despite the proliferation of literary reference works in recent years, some covering more authors, others providing lengthier articles, the Wilson series has remained a cornerstone of the reference collections of libraries of all sizes and a model of concise biographical writing.
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