21 апреля 2009 | Автор: Admin | Рубрика: English литература » Словари и энциклопедии на английском языке | Комментариев: 0
Keith Laybourn “British Political Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary"
ABC-CLIO, Inc | Aug 1, 2001 | ASIN: B000HWYTDU | 363 pages | CHM | 2,7 Mb
This volume offers serious Anglophiles 198 entries covering the British leaders who filled "the top four offices of state and the post of secretary of state for the colonies between 1730 and the present," the four top offices being prime minister, chancellor of the exchequer, foreign secretary, and home secretary. Arrangement of entries is alphabetical, either by name or by title depending on how the individual was best known. For example, Benjamin Disraeli is listed under his given name, not as the Earl of Beaconsfield. In cases where official titles have evolved over the centuries, the editors have, for the sake of consistency, used the modern title. Thus, all prime ministers are listed as such, even though the post was once referred to as First Lord of the Treasury.
Entries range in length from just under half of a page for Richard Ryder, home secretary from 1809 to 1812, to almost five pages for Tony Blair. Each individually signed biography concludes with a list of the main sources used in its preparation. For general background information, especially regarding lesser-known figures, the editors relied on The Dictionary of National Biography and Dod's Parliamentary Companion, among other standard British biography reference sources. A comprehensive bibliography appears at the end of the book. Also provided is a "Chronological List of Leaders by Cabinet Office." A small number of black-and-white illustrations accompanies the text.
The volume does an admirable job of pulling together concise biographies of Great Britain's leaders since the early decade of the sixteenth century and presenting them in straightforward prose. It will be a welcome addition to the reference collections of libraries serving researchers with deep interest in British history, politics, and government. However, libraries that do not see heavy traffic in this area may find that sources such as general encyclopedias will serve well enough.
---No mirrors, please---