The authors in their preface say they hope to improve on the current reputation of RW as a serious artist, which has perhaps been influenced by the fact that RW worked in so many fields - murals, book illustration, stage design, posters, even a toile de jouy [look it up]. A possible case of Jack of all trades, master of none. The authors have carried out extensive research, quoting memoirs of comtemporaries and information from the Whistler family. As a man, it seems that RW lived precariously on the income from his work, was careless about money, was not career minded and possessed a solitary melancholic streak which is reflected in some of his work. The text of the book is very informative, but the most valuable elements are the large number of colour illustrations, which are of the highest quality. I found the work RW produced in his four years army service, mostly portraits and sketches of army life, to be particlarly interesting. Inevitably, one thinks of what might have been if he had survived the war. Highly recommended.