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AS many of the pieces illustrated in this book are on show at the V&A’s British Galleries, this is another neat marketing link and big plug for the V&A, although the subject has been thrashed around endlessly in other books.

What we have here then is fairly basic stuff, maddeningly and mysteriously edited in each section’s introduction by emphasising in bold what are considered key words, as in “artists and designers working in Glasgow tended to employ a limited colour range based on subtle tones of pink, purple and green...”.

The book includes an introduction to styles in British art and design from 1500 to 1900 with the key characteristics being explored, from the introduction of European Renaissance ornament in the 16th century, through the wild exuberance of Rococo, the elegance of neoclassicism and the romance of the Medieval Revival, to the striking work of the Scottish School at the end of the 19th century. Well laid out and well illustrated.