As a Fellow of the British Horological Institute who has built complex clocks from scratch and repaired fine antique clocks and barometers to the highest standards the author is eminently qualified in his field.
Most of us of a certain age became blind to the english dial clock because we saw them everywhere; shops, offices, factories, and where we remember them from most, railway stations. Their familiarity and ubiquity has made us oblivious of the fact of their longevity. A design that can't be improved upon does not get improved as evinced by the modern equivalent with a quartz movement(he made a spitting noise when I said that to him).
The evolution from the erroneusly named (by antique dealers) Act of Parliament clock is explained at length and the variations are adequately illustrated in this volume.
The varieties of plates and pillars are a great help in narrowing down periods and makers and the section on the numbering system used by Dent is invaluble.
All the details you need to research your dial clock are contained in this volume.