One of the subjects I most enjoyed at university was an option I took on English medieval art. Having just started at Shire, I was keen to reacquaint myself with this subject, so borrowed a copy of Medieval Wall Paintings just before my first weekend in the job. I found it extremely interesting, and it served as a reminder how almost all churches were decorated intensely before hundreds were stripped in the Reformation and, to a greater extent, by the Victorians. The vast majority of these depictions served less as decoration and entertainment, however, than as instructional and representative tools to help make religion accessible to all. The author created a wonderful and engaging introduction to this subject, outlining the complexities of what is often, to modern eyes, something incidental to religious architecture. Most of the colour pictures in the book are photographic-quality watercolours by the author of the wall paintings in situ, and I was most pleased to notice that Ulcombe was mentioned, a small rural church in the heart of Kent, the paintings of which I had already personally admired. If you want a brief, accessible history of medieval wall paintings, this is the book for you - it deals less with the great cathedral masterpieces than with the modest provincial art accessible to everyday parishioners, and E. Clive Rouse has left us a wonderful legacy.