This book has three essay chapters. The first chapter deals with Bosch's home town..... anything about Bosch's home town. Details are thrown in because they are known, even when they do not add to our understanding of Bosch. The second chapter discusses a new method for dating the wood panels that Bosch and others painted on, and questions whether some paintings can really be attributed to Bosch. This could be an interesting discussion if there was more explanation of how the paintings had been judged and attributed to Bosch previously. Instead it is new data without much context. The final chapter deals with the imagery of Bosch. This has the potential to be the most enlightening, but falls well short. By the end the reader may know a little more about Bosch, but not enough to warrant wading through this book.
Now all could still be forgiven if the presentation of the artwork was good. Because Bosch is enjoyable without explanations. But the presentation in the book is not. The paintings and drawings appear scattered throughout with no rhyme or reason. The numbering of the pictures is frustrating to follow. You will be searching back and forth through the book looking for the pictures that correspond to the point being made in the text.
When you do find the picture, you probably will be disappointed. Even the quintessential Bosch work " The Garden of Earthly Delights" is presented in quarter page size. In contrast Bosch imitators are given larger representation. I don't understand why.
The poor lay-out even extends to page numbering. There is a reason for numbering the pages on the outer margins, away from the spine. This was brought home very strongly as I searched for the page numbers halfway along the pages near the spine. This may sound a trivial complaint, but this book seemed designed to test the patience of the reader.
I got this book for half price, but that was still paying way too much. There are far better and cheaper books out there on Bosch. Go with them.