This book is well researched and well written. Unlike the academic writers who think that each missive should have at least four commas and an equal number of parenthetical phrases, Mr. Homer writes in clear and concise sentences. While the book is a biography of Thomas Eakins, Mr. Homer also has the ability to turn "the life of" into a fascinating story line which keeps the reader interested in what's going to happen next. Finally, the plates match the story so that the reader is not constantly turning pages ahead or pages behind to match an illustration with the written word. I would suggest the reader buy a new copy and keep it handy as a reference as opposed to owning it as an extra-large book decorating the reader's coffee table. The reader now should be warned: this book is much too big and heavy to read in bed, propped on a frail sternum late at night. As an individual with an extensive art library, I would place this book among those which are a pleasure to read.