Mrs. Russ is an Anglophile, unabashed and angling for others to share her deep admirations. In this king-sized anthology, there are poems and excerpts from plays, stories, and speeches that run the gamut from Alfred to Nesbit's Wouldbegoods--something for everybody, and not just the most likely writings. Of course, she includes bits of Churchill, Chaucer and Mr. Chips, Robin Hood and ""The Highwayman,"" Ivanhoe and T. H. White's Ill-Made Knight, Shakespeare and Tennyson and Dickens. But the book is large enough to accommodate the unexpected as well--a riddle from the Exeter book, a handbill from Mme. Tussaud's, the origin of ""Honi soit qui mal y pense,"" the Beatles' 1964 press conference at JFK airport. Most of the authors are English but there are also contributions from Jimmy Breslin, Edward R. Murrow, Mark Twain and Howard Pyle. Grouped by subjects which almost overlap-bold men, kings and queens, princes and princesses, ""characters"" and characteristics--the writings tend to focus on heroic figures rather than the equally English but differently conceived characters of, say, Austen, Thackeray or Fielding. Nevertheless this will have a strong appeal for some readers and the Victor Ambrus illustrations should be the perfect complement.