By offering biographical notes, critical comments, personal quotations and letters, as well as one representative selection from the writings of each author, Miss Hoff should succeed in tempting the serious young reader to explore the works of five of the most eminent 19th century authors -- Dickens, Thoreau, Flaubert, Stevenson and Twain. For this introduction is also an invitation. The brief biographies deal particularly with artistic philosophies and influences that resulted in the author's subject and style. The excerpts are short,- Dickens' selections from Pickwick Papers, Thoreau's Cape Cod, Flaubert's A Simple Heart, Stevenson's of Hermiston, Twain's Perplexing Lessons. The comments are enlightening.