A comprehensive guide to writers and their works which
helps people understand where the books they read belong in the history and development of literature, see how they work technically, and appreciate them more fully.
This comprehensive survey of writers and their works gives you a 'good reading guide' of important books from Chaucer to T. S. Eliot, and clear explanations of the history and techniques of fiction, poetry and drama.
Full of insights from the author's many years of teaching, the book ends with an appendix on creative writing as a way of learning about literature, and an annotated bibliography.
This is an ideal first-stop for students, readers and adult learners needing an accessible and informed introduction to the joys of literature.
Gaskell has set out to introduce non-students to literature and to encourage everyone to widen their reading and develop their own talent as writers. He is eminently successful and I was left with a desire to read many of the works he discusses.
You get a real sense of the writer as an enthusiastic and discerning teacher - he even made me enjoy reading about writers I don't like!
Gail Wylie, University of Edinburgh
Stimulating ... A truly inspiring book.