There is quite a bit about literature in the Grammar chapter of the book, as I mentioned last time, and many pages of the Biography chapter are devoted to writers, but the Literature chapter gives 115 small-print pages to literature alone. One finds a summary of the literature from many of the world's nations, a summary of plots from many great literary works, a dictionary of pseudonyms, a dictionary of mythology, book reviews and a list of suggested books for a family library, among other things.
Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography is called "the only truly literary classic which America produced before the nineteenth century." In the American literature classes I took in college, Franklin's book was the only thing we studied from before 1800, so perhaps this opinion still holds. As for the early 19th century, "the very names of Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne, and Poe mark this era as the most important in American literature." This was written early in the 20th century, but it is conceivable that that opinion remains valid.
The reference book lumps Herman Melville with Richard Henry Dana Jr. as "writers of our best books of adventure." I suppose Moby-Dick can be viewed as an adventure story, but it seems much more than that today. Mark Twain is barely mentioned, except as "probably the one American writer who enjoys a world-wide fame." There is no mention of anything he wrote. (There is much more about Twain in the Biography section.) Meanwhile the book mentions Edward Eggleston, George W. Cable, Mary Noailles Murfee and Harold Frederic, among other writers of the same era who are rarely read today and whose names few of us even recognize.