Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to Great Britain and Ireland, edited by Dorothy Eagle and Hilary Carnell. New York: Oxford University Press. 326 pp.
Almost every town, village, and city in Britain claims a place in this book, even those that can boast only a thin link to the Great World of Literature - a writer lived there for a while, a minor poet was born there, it was a setting for a novel.
Entries are under towns arranged alphabetically; writers are indexed at the back. So readers can turn to places that interest them and discover what they contributed to literature or can use the index to trace the footsteps of a favorite author. But a word of warning: not every writer is included - notable omissions include contemporary authors like Anthony Powell, Graham Greene, C.P. Snow, J.B. Priestley.
Personally, I found the best use for this book when I browsed happily through it on a rainy winter's evening, dreaming over pictures (some of them excellent), and marveling that so much literature could have poured out from so small a land.