This two inch thick hard backed book contains (almost) every knot you could ever imagine or want to tie.
It covers knots, bends, hitches, splices, whippings, decorative knots, sinnets, tackle and more. Background information and many usage hints are given throughout. Ashley's knowledge of his subject and obvious enthusiasm for all things connected with knots and their usage is clear from the detail incorporated in this book.
It is an expert's reference guide, not a 'how to' manual for novices. The small, hand drawn sketchs and sometimes scant instructions are not suitable for the beginner, but the shear quantity of information (in words and pictures) make this the definitive reference guide even though more than 50 years have passed since its inital publication.
Having been published in 1944 it does not cover knots suitable for synthetic ropes such as used by the moderen rock climber.
You can not claim to have a serious interest in knots and ropework if you do not have a copy of 'Ashley' on your book shelf.