This book is generally terrific--wonderful photographs, great anecdotes about particular personages and events, an impressive breadth of historical knowledge. That said, if you are using this book for historical research instead of just general interest, double-check your findings; for example, Girouard has the French Estates General meeting in 1618 instead of 1614. A few paragraphs later, Louis XIII is escorting the Queen of Poland to a play in 1645--a difficult feat, considering he died two years earlier. I noticed these things only because I am familiar with that particular time period, so it makes me wonder what other minor details might be incorrect throughout the book. But that's an emphasis on "minor," and I don't intend to harp on it. Overall I think this is an incredible resource with lots of fascinating information. I got my copy from the library, but I'll probably buy one for myself--I can see myself referring back to it often!