Blue Guide London
Not for the superficial or uninitiated
The Blue Guides are uniformly outstanding, but you have to know what you are getting: detailed descriptions of art and architecture with myriad discussions of dates and names and places and little background for the less initiated.
This is not for the casual reader with a superficial knowledge of history and little interest in every duke, lord, prince and princeling, architect, architect’s assistant, architect’s mentor or mid-career vs later-career predilection. It’s a dense, heavy book to lug around, and the extra effort is amply rewarded – if this is the kind of detail that you like.