"This collection deserves a long review in order to get the attention it has earned. But how would a reviewer do rounded justice in, say, five hundred words to fifty entries by fifty different scholar-critics on `Southerners whose careers ended ...
before 1900 or thereabouts'? Furthermore, each entry was required to follow a five-part pattern: `a biographical sketch, a discussion of major themes, an assessment of the scholarship . . . a chronological list of the author's works, and a bibliography of selected criticism.' That pattern reinforces a reference-work effect that the precise and experienced editors intended. Only a pedant will quible--yet will also regulary use the book and send students to it. It will outlast any reviewer now alive." American Literature