A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature, published in 1910- useful for research and reference. Sample:
ATTERBURY, FRANCIS (1662 – 1732). Controversialist
and preacher, was b. near Newport Pagnel, Bucks, and ed. at West
minster School and Oxford. He became the leading protagonist
on the High Church side in the ecclesiastical controversies of his
time, and is believed to have been the chief author of the famous
defence of Dr. Sacheverell in 1712. He also wrote most of Boyle’s
Examination of Dr. Bentley’s Dissertations on the Epistles of
Phalaris, and pub. sermons, which, with his letters to Swift, Pope,
and other friends, constitute the foundation of his literary reputa
tion. During the reign of the Tories he enjoyed much preferment,
having been successively Canon of Exeter, Dean of Christ Church,
Dean of Westminster, and Bishop of Rochester. His Jacobite
principles, however, and his participation in various plots got him
into trouble, and in 1722 he was confined in the Tower, deprived of
all his offices, and ultimately banished. He d. at Paris, Feb. 15,
1732, and was buried privately in Westminster Abbey.
AUBREY, JOHN (1626-1697). Antiquary, was a country
gentleman who inherited estates in several counties in England,
which he lost by litigation and otherwise. He devoted himself to
the collection of antiquarian and miscellaneous observations, and
gave assistance to Dugdale and Anthony a-Wood in their researches.
His own investigations were extensive and minute, but their value
is much diminished by his credulity, and want of capacity to weigh
evidence. His only publication is his Miscellanies, a collection of
popular superstitions, etc., but he left various collections, which
were edited and publ. in the igth century.
AUSTEN, JANE (1775-1817). Novelist, dau. of a clergy
man, was b. at the rectory of Steventon nea* Basingstoke. She
1 6 Dictionary of English Literature
received an education superior to that generally given to girls of
her time, and took early to writing, her first tale being begun m
1 708 Her life was a singularly uneventful one, and, but for a dis
appointment in love, tranquil and happy In 1801 the family went
to Bath the scene of many episodes in her writings, and after the
death of her /. in 1805 to Southampton, and later to Chawton, a
village in Hants, where most of her novels were written. A ten
dencv to consumption having manifested itself, she removed in
May 1817 to Winchester for the advantage of skilled medical
attendance but so rapid was the progress of her malady that she
died there two months later. Oi her six novels, four Sense and
Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814)
and Emma (1816) were pub. anonymously during her life-time;
and the others, Northanger Abbey written in 1798 and Persuasion,
finished in 1816, appeared a few months after her death, when the
name of the authoress was divulged. Although her novels were
from the first well received, it is only of comparatively late years
that her genius has gained the wide appreciation which it deserves.
Her strength lies in the delineation of character, especially of
persons of her own sex, by a number of minute and delicate touches ^
arising out of the most natural and everyday incidents in the life of
the middle and upper classes, from which her subjects are generally
taken. Her characters, though of quite ordinary types, are drawn
with such wonderful firmness and precision, and with such signifi
cant detail as to retain their individuality absolutely intact through
their entire development, and they are never coloured by her own
personality. Her view of life is genial in the main, with a strong
dash of gentle but keen satire: she appeals rarely and slightly to
the deeper feelings; and the enforcement of the excellent lessons
she teaches is left altogether to the story, without a word of formal
moralising. Among her admirers was Sir W. Scott, who said,
” That young lady has a talent for describing the involvements of
feelings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most
wonderful I ever met with; ” others were Macaulay (who thought
that in the world there were no compositions which approached
nearer to perfection), Coleridge, Southey, Sydney Smith, and E.
AUSTIN, JOHN (1790-1859). Jurist, served in the army
in Sicily and Malta, but, selling his commission, studied law, and
was called to the Bar 1818. He did not long continue to practise,
but devoted himself to the study of law as a science, and became
Professor of Jurisprudence in London University 1826-32. There
after he served on various Royal Commissions. By his works he
exercised a profound influence on the views of jurisprudence held
in England. These include The Province of Jurisprudence Deter
mined (1832), and his Lectures on Jurisprudence.
Aunt Charlotte’s Stories of Greek History
by Charlotte Mary Yonge
Days of the Discoverers
by L. Lamprey
Stories, poetry, myth and real;
Sample:”Hi!” called Nils, “where is Mother Elle? See what Thorolf and I have got!”
The children scrambled to their feet and gazed with round eyes, their small hungry teeth munching their morsels of hard bread. Nikolina plucked a bunch of  grass for Snow, the foremost cow, and patted her as she ate it.
“The little ones were so tired and hungry,” she said, “that Mother Elle said they might have their supper now, while she and Olof and Anders went on to the saeter. This is wonderful! She was saying only this morning that she feared all the cattle were dead or stolen.”
Within an hour they came in sight of the log huts with turf-covered roofs that sloped almost to the ground in the rear. A broad plain stretched away beyond, and the new grass was of that vivid green to be found in places which deep snow makes pure. Hills enclosed it, and beyond, a gleaming network of lake and stream ended in range above range of blue and silver peaks. The clear invigorating air was like some unearthly wine. The cows at the scent of fresh pasture moved more briskly; the pony tossed his head and whinnied. Not far from the cottages there came to meet them a little old woman, dark and wiry, with bright searching eyes. Her face was wrinkled all over in fine soft lines, but her hair was hardly gray at all. She wore a pointed hood and girdled tunic of tanned reindeer hide, with leggings and shoes of the same. A blanket about her shoulders was draped into a kind of pouch, in which she carried on her back a tow-headed, solemn-eyed baby.
“Welcome to you, Thorolf Erlandsson,” she said, just as if she had been expecting him. “With this good milk we shall fare like the King.”
From a later chapter:
The vehement small speaker waved her slender hand with a gesture that seemed to take in half the horizon. The old Moorish garden, overrun with the brilliant blossoms that drink their hues from the sea, overlooked the harbor. Across the huddled many-colored houses the ten-year-old Beatriz and her playfellow Fernao could see the western ocean in a great half-circle, bounded by the mysterious line above which three tiny caravels had just risen. The sea to-day was exquisite, bluer than the heavens that arched above it. The wave-crests looked like a flock of sea-doves playing on the sunlit sparkling waters. Fernao from his seat on the crumbling wall watched the incoming ships with the far-sighted gaze of a sailor. Portuguese through and through, the son and grandson of men who had sailed at the bidding of the great Prince Henry, he felt that he could speak with authority.
“Of course I am telling you the truth. You are  very wise about the sea—you who never saw it until two weeks ago! Gil Andrade has been to places that you Castilians never even heard of. He has seen whales, and mermaids, and the Sea of Darkness itself! He has been to the Gold Coast beyond Bojador, where the people are fried black like charcoal, and the rivers are too hot to drink.”
“Then why didn’t he die?” inquired the unbelieving Beatriz.
“Because he didn’t stay there long enough. And there are devils in the forest, stronger than ten men, and all covered with shaggy hair—”
“I will not listen to such nonsense! Do you think that because I am Spanish, and a girl, I am without understanding? Tio Sancho, is it true that there is a Sea of Darkness?”
Sancho Serrao was an old seaman, as any one would know by his eyes and his walk. For fifty years he had used the sea, as ship-boy, sailor, and pilot. His daughter Catharina had been the nurse of Beatriz, and he had brought coral, shells and queer toys to the little thing from the time she could toddle to his knee.
“What has Fernao been saying to thee, pombinha agreste?” (little wood-dove) he asked soberly, though his eyes twinkled ever so little. He seated himself as he spoke, on an ancient bench that rested its back against the wall just where the wind was sweetest. Under the fragrances of ripening vineyards and flowering shrubs there was always the sharp clean smell of the sea.
I really like the sound of this one.
Post contains affiliate links, however all books are free at time of listing and likely to remain so.