This is an excellent little reference book on the Popes, benefiting greatly by being updated to include Benedict XVI.
This work presents each pope, and anti-pope, in chronological order, which enables the reader to have a continuous history of the papacy. Each pope or anti-pope is provided with a brief biography including birth and death dates, parentage, relationships to other popes or church luminaries, and their careers before and during (and sometimes after) their papacy. In some cases these biographies are surprisingly in-depth for such a work. At the end of each biography is a list of references which can be used to guide the interested reader to further reading on a particular pope or anti-pope.
The end appendix on the possibility, at least tradition, of a female pope is a good addition as well.
Handy to have on your bookshelf. Recommended