Heraldry is not an easy topic to grasp. There are so many rules of use, esoteric terms to define everything from color, to subject, to shape. This book is the best introduction you'll find. Be forewarned, this is not the usual "What's Your Name?--Here's Your Coat of Arms!" encyclopedic look-up. Instead, it shows examples of heraldry and explains in full detail just what information can be derived from the coat. What is the importance of animals, weapons, figures, mottos, colors, and shapes? Where did heraldry come from? What were the rules regarding the changes of the coat of arms down through children, crossed by marriage, changed by death? This book is a beautifully illustrated and comprehensively written introduction to the beginning of your understanding to heraldry. It makes for a charming coffee table book that you'll refer to again and again.