Who’s Who in Late Hanoverian Britain
Review by Cheryl Bolen
in Late Hanoverian Britain 1789-1837
Stackpole Books, 1997
423 pages, $29.95
When I saw
the title of this book, I could not order it fast enough, and during the
long wait for it to arrive from the UK I was as impatient as a bride to
be. But after it arrived, I was only happy that I had not paid the full
cover price because it was not worth it.
biographical essays recorded here are well done but not with the
thoroughness of the online Dictionary of National Biography published by
Oxford (which, admittedly, is expensive).
is one of a six-part series on Who’s Who in British History. The biggest
complaint with the series is its method of organization. The editors
have decided to list the essays chronologically, which doesn’t sound
bad. Until the reader goes searching. What criteria is used for
determining the chronology? The person’s date of birth — or the date of
the person’s greatest achievements? The editors don’t tell us.
is very hard to navigate. There is no Table of Contents, and nowhere in
the book is there an alphabetical index. The “List of Entries” is
completely useless for it is neither listed alphabetically nor does it
give corresponding page numbers for the listed essays.
Furthermore, criteria for inclusions and omissions is not given. Horatio
Nelson is listed, but not his inamorata, Emma Hamilton. In fact, of the
174 listings, only ten are for women. C’mon!
I suppose I
was hoping for a bit more of a social who’s who of the era, sort of a
mini, gossipy Burke’s Peerage. Information on the persons who merit
mention in this book — prime ministers, social philosophers, famed
authors, leading military figures — is readibly available elsewhere, and
in more depth. I recommend going elsewhere.
This review first appeared in The Quizzing Glass in April 2007.