Spoon River Anthology, by Edgar Lee Masters, is a collection of short free-form poems that collectively describe the life of the fictional small town of Spoon River, named after the real Spoon River that ran near Masters' home town. The collection includes two hundred and twelve separate characters providing two-hundred forty-four accounts of their lives and losses.
From what I gather it's not always reliable as history. Plutarch purportedly stretched things, both to find similarities in the two figures paired and to draw a tidy moral. And given Plutarch was a Greek and a Roman citizen trying to underline what they had in common, as you could expect, those outside that charmed circle, such as Cleopatra (for all she was of Greek descent) and the Carthaginians don't exactly get good press here. It probably is a good idea to seek out an edition that's thoroughly annotated--and try different translations if you don't find Dryden congenial. But I for one think this is numbered among the great books for good reason.
-- Frankenstein, Volume II, Chapter VII
Over many years Plutarch wrote a series of 'Lives' of famous ancient men: Written in the First Century it is regarded as a majorly important semi-History and reference for people, events and conditions of the late pre- and earliest post-Christ world of Greeks and Romans.
It explores famous people for their good and bad characteristics and behaviours viewed from an Ethical-Moral standpoint.
It would be valued as a great work if only its secondary information on Alexander the Great (356-323) and Julius Caesar (100 to 44) had survived, but there is much more including a Roman King, brilliant orators, adventurers etc. The work is full of ideas, principles and arguments that can be found running through all Civilization over the last 2,000 years.
Plutarch constructs his work using a unique juxtaposition of paired Greek and Roman lives.
This is a very worthy translation by J & W Langhorne.
Now the second half of this is that this was one of the works that Ben Franklin singled out as particularly valuable and it has been considered such by many of the great enlightened figures of history. It seems dubious that anyone would thus be so narrow-minded as to think their opinion that it is worthless matters one iota. Think I'll take Franklin's word over yours, pal.