From his birth to his last breath, James Hamilton has amassed a wealth of detail about the life and work of J M W Turner, in what is undoubtedly to remain the definitive work for some time to come. Apart from Turner himself, we also get something a portrait of the times he lived in, and his work is considered as part of the social and historical context - I had not realised just how much of his work incorporated subtle hidden or rather more overt social and political commentary.
The plates are relatively limited in number, so it would be a good idea to have a comprehensive book of reproductions to hand whilst reading, or else use the internet; one minor annoyance here is that it is not always made clear in the text when a work referenced is now lost or else in a private collection with no photograph available. One further annoyance is with the printing itself - to pack so much information into such a small book the text is a little on the small side and extends right towards the spine making it a little difficult to read. Nevertheless a recommended work.