When I find Ladybird books to buy, although I'm buying with my children in mind I also look for ones that represent my own interests. I love the way that the Ladybird books are easy to read, yet so comprehensive that they contain a wealth of information on a subject. If you are looking for an overview on a topic they are brilliant.
Lives of the Great Composers is in Series 662 - History of the Arts. I have Book 1, and there is also a Book 2. Book 1 covers Bach, Mozart and Beethoven and was published in 1969. I recently wrote about The Story of Music, which is also found in this series.
There is a lot of detailed information in this book. Each composer is given a detailed biography, beginning with a history of their family and details of their early childhood. There are also little anecdotes about their lives, for example a story about how Bach was able to fit his hand through a grille in a cupboard to copy his brother's sheets of music, and there are some lovely, lively illustrations to match the stories.
At the end of the book is a list of well-known pieces by the composers in the book with a few notes about each. The whole thing is written in a really descriptive and engaging style which makes it a pleasure to read, and once again I learned a lot from reading this book!
I'm linking up with Ladybird Tuesday at Being Mrs C, and you can read all my Ladybird Tuesday posts here.