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Customer Review

on 2 February 2013
This is a well written series of essays that group the author's wide knowledge of these works into thematic chapters. As such this would make a good radio script. Astonishly poor colour illustrations of the relevant works are given the conventional numbers in brackets within the text to illustrate these essays. It is as if he and his photographer/publisher avoided flash photography or even the potential of basic Photoshop or any other picture editor. Most appear to be "raw" picture files which is perversely amateur. See figure 92, page 75 for instance amongst very many such examples. Most readers will be keen to find out the locations of these paintings as other reviewers have suggested. For instance,the church of "St. Mary" in a place called "Brook" cannot be found in the "Gazetteer" because the photographic captions do not actually contain reference to the relevant county. Unfortunately the gazetteer (index) lists churches by county only. In the same list there are some incredibly unhelpful descriptions eg "nave, east wall, above chancel screen: Doom" but even these lack a thumbnail illustration, condition, size or even a star rating to help to understand their importance. This failure is critical because it wastes an opportunity to track a grouping of regional styles, such as the West Sussex paintings which are world class. This field of British art deserves so much more. Where also are the itineraries to group the related works, the archival and web links or the metre scales to judge the sizes? How can anyone produce a publication with the subheading "in English and Welsh Churches" and not even produce a map in any of the 380 pages?
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